Can greening vacant urban land improve mental health?
Bottom Line: Physical conditions in a neighborhood matter. Trash, a lack of sidewalks and parks, and vacant or dilapidated spaces have been associated with depression, while living near green spaces has been associated with less depression, anxiety and stress. In Philadelphia, a citywide cluster randomized trial looked at whether greening vacant urban land by getting rid of trash, grading the land, planting new grass and some trees, and installing low wooden fencing could improve self-reported mental health.
Authors: Eugenia C. South, M.D., M.S., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and coauthors
Related Material: The invited commentary, "Nature Exposure Gets a Boost From a Cluster Randomized Trial on the Mental Health Benefits of Greening Vacant Lots," by Michael Jerret, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Matilda van den Bosch, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.
To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.
Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.
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