Green Environment and Mental Health in the City

Reference work entry
Part of the Mental Health and Illness Worldwide book series (MHIW)

Abstract

Green urbanism is an important component of sustainable and liveable cities in developed and developing countries. Parks and gardens in cities have aesthetic, health, and social benefits, and they improve the quality of life in an increasingly urbanized society. Densely populated megacities with inadequate provision of green spaces are associated with poorer mental health. There is growing interest and research on horticultural therapy as a strategy to promote active aging. Studies on the use of urban parks and gardens have confirmed the reduction of stress and other mental health benefits. The natural environments have restorative characteristics which could mitigate stress and aid in the recovery from fatigue. Research has shown that exposure to green spaces can be psychologically and physiologically restorative by improving mental health, reducing blood pressure and stress levels, as well as encouraging physical activity. Some cities, including Singapore, are incorporating green environments into urban design as important aspects of city planning, given their possible positive influence on mental health and even cognitive functions.

Keywords

Urban parks Horticultural therapy Mental health Restorative Exposure to green spaces 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychological Medicine, National University HospitalNational University of SingaporeSingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.National Parks BoardMinistry of National Development Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology ResearchSingaporeSingapore

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