Not only are trees and plants wonderful to look at in a city, a green view is so much more than just decoration. A green environment improves the quality of life. Patients recover much faster in a green environment, residents of green neighbourhoods make less use of healthcare facilities, and employees of companies surrounded by green feel much happier. In addition, a city park like the Amsterdam Vondelpark will encourage people to exercise and relax there, which will improve their health.

Children will grow up more harmoniously and perform better in school if they live closer to nature. An increasing number of schools have decided to make their schoolyards greener.

Green cities, healthy cities

There are several factors that threaten the health of the modern city dweller. With our lifestyle we sit too much, exercise too little and have too much anxiety and stress. Also, living in an urban environment isn’t very healthy. Air pollution is the greatest threat. Nowadays, small particle pollution is regarded as the worst contamination in our urban atmosphere. A recent study by the University of Utrecht revealed that air pollution caused by small particles measuring less than 10 micrometres has a greater effect on our health risks than we assumed thus far.

If an all-encompassing motive were needed to plead for a greener urban area, it would be the way ‘green’ contributes to fighting health risks caused by poor air quality. Trees, shrubs, but also plants and even mosses help filtering harmful small particles from the air. Busy streets, but also parks and green belts near playgrounds, day-care centres and schools will become cleaner if trees and shrubs can bind small particles and nitrogen dioxide.