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Sci Rep. 2015 Jul 9;5:11610. doi: 10.1038/srep11610.

Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA.
2
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA.
4
The David Suzuki Foundation, Toronto, ON, Canada.
5
Translational Health Science, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA, Australia.
6
Rotman Research Institute, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
7
1] Department of Psychology, The University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, USA [2] Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology, and Human Behavior, University of Chicago.

Abstract

Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses from the Ontario Health Study. Results from multiple regressions and multivariate canonical correlation analyses suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions (controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors). We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger. We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.

PMID:
26158911
PMCID:
PMC4497305
DOI:
10.1038/srep11610
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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