Greenspace in urban neighbourhoods and residents health: Adding quality to quantity, Van Dillen, S. M. E., De Vries, S., Groenewegen, P. P., & Spreeuwenberg, P. (2009)

#green healthy cities #urban green

Previous research shows a positive link between the amount of green area in one’s residential neighbourhood and self-reported health. However, little research has been done on the quality of the green area, as well as on quantity and quality of smaller natural elements in the streetscape. This study investigates the link between the objectively assessed quantity and quality of (1) green areas and (2) streetscape greenery on the one hand and three self-reported health indicators on the other.

80 Dutch urban neighbourhoods were selected, varying in the amount of nearby green area per dwelling, as determined by Geographic Information System analysis. The quality of green areas, as well as the quantity and quality of streetscape greenery, was assessed by observers using an audit tool. Residents of each neighbourhood were asked to complete a questionnaire on their own health. In multilevel regression analyses, we examined the relationship between greenspace indicators and three health indicators, controlling for socio-demographic and socioeconomic characteristics.

Both indicators for the quantity of greenspace were positively related to all three health indicators. Quantity and quality indicators were substantially correlated in the case of streetscape greenery. Nevertheless, the quality indicators tended to have added predictive value for the health indicators, given that the quantity information was already included in the model.
The quantity and also the quality of greenspace in one’s neighbourhood seem relevant with regard to health. Furthermore, streetscape greenery is at least as strongly related to self-reported health as green areas.

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