A new study confirms what a lot of people already sense: that green urban spaces improve the quality of inner-city life.
University of Exeter researchers found that living in an urban area with parks, gardens and trees led to better well-being among residents. The study followed 5,000 households over 17 years. The researchers found that city-dwellers living near green spaces were happier and had higher life satisfaction.
“Living in an urban area with relatively high levels of green space compared to one with relatively low levels of green space was associated with a positive impact on well-being equivalent to roughly a third of the impact of being married vs. unmarried and a tenth of the impact of being employed vs. unemployed," said study author Matthew White. "These kinds of comparisons are important for policymakers when trying to decide how to invest scarce public resources such as for park development or upkeep, and figuring out what bang they'll get for their buck."
The study was published in the recent edition of the journal Psychological Science.