Children who are born and raised in cities, far from urban green spaces, risk having more behavioural problems than their peers who live closer to parks. These conclusions have been drawn by researchers from the Institute of Epidemiology, the Helmholtz Zentrum in Munich (Germany). The researchers used statistical data of 1932 children of about 10 years of age. They found a positive correlation between distance to a park, in meters, and the incidence of behavioural problems such as hyperactivity and inattention. The effects were established for children who grew up further than 500 meters away from parks.
The abnormal values for hyperactivity and inattention were only found in boys; girls did not seem to be affected by living far away from urban green spaces. The effect was only visible for distance from urban green. No statistical evidence was found for a correlation between living closer or nearer to forests or residential green, gardens, and behavioural problems.
The researchers, who revealed their findings in a scientific publication (Environment International, Elsevier 2014) do not speculate about the causal relations between green surroundings and mental health effects. But we, at The Green City, have no doubts: green cities give us a healthy live!