As more and more research highlights the importance of proximity to nature, it offers insight into an important factor to public health and encourages officials to take note.
“This is the largest and most comprehensive synthesis to date on green space and premature mortality,” notes David Rojas, researcher at ISGlobal and Colorado State University and first author of the study, “and the results support interventions and policies to increase green spaces as a strategy to improve public health.”
After all, living just a 10-minute walk from a park has been found to reduce the risk of chronic disease by getting you moving. Not to mention the improved air quality in surrounding areas and the opportunity for community green spaces provide.
“Urban greening programs are not only key to promoting public health,” says Mark Nieuwenhuijsen, director of the Urban Planning, Environment and Health Initiative at ISGlobal, “but they also increase biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change, making our cities more sustainable and livable.”
Now, the researchers will take these findings to get an estimate on the number of premature deaths that could be prevented in the world’s cities should green space be increased.