More and more cities are making tree-planting and green space allocation a key part of their urban planning strategy. Not only do green spaces mitigate the heat island effect, but they also work to purify the air and improve the health of residents. The correlation between nature and happiness has been further solidified in a new study in EPJ Data Science.
The researchers set out to determine how exactly green space influences resident health and happiness. To do so, they compared satellite data of 90 large cities in 60 countries around the world with each city’s average happiness score. They also factored in wealth in terms of GDP.
What they found was a positive link between green space and happiness across all analyzed countries, with the 30 most wealthy cities having the strongest correlation. They note that this indicates that money does “buy happiness” up to a certain degree, but from there, factors such as time in nature have a higher impact.
This study offers not only strong evidence for establishing and protecting access to nature, but also for strategically using time in nature to promote overall wellness in medical, social, and educational programs.
Source Study: EPJ Data Science – Urban green space and happiness in developed countries