Ian Alcock, Mathew P. White, Benedict W. Wheeler, Lora E. Fleming, and Michael H. Depledge

This study examined how living in urban areas with more green space and urban areas with less green space affected participants’ mental health over the long term. The experiment was conducted over a period of five years, using panel data to explore the researchers’ hypotheses.

Results showed that

  • Participants experienced better mental health in the following years proceeding when they moved to areas with more green space
  • Participants experienced a sharp decline in mental health when they moved to areas with less green space for the initial year after their move, but then after the first year, returned to their baseline mental health.
  • The benefits received from moving to a greener area were shown to be sustainable and last for more than just the initial move year.

Results point towards improving public health benefits could be tied to increasing urban green space.