Bundesamt für Naturschutz


Literatur NatGesIs

Green space, urbanity, and health: how strong is the relation?




Maas, J., Verheij, R.A., Groenewegen, P.P., de Vries, S., Spreeuwenberg, P.




Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health




587 - 592


Study objectives: To investigate the strength of the relation between the amount of green space in people?s
living environment and their perceived general health. This relation is analysed for different age and
socioeconomic groups. Furthermore, it is analysed separately for urban and more rural areas, because the
strength of the relation was expected to vary with urbanity.
Design: The study includes 250 782 people registered with 104 general practices who filled in a self
administered form on sociodemographic background and perceived general health. The percentage of
green space (urban green space, agricultural space, natural green space) within a one kilometre and three
kilometre radius around the postal code coordinates was calculated for each household.
Methods: Multilevel logistic regression analyses were performed at three levels?that is, individual level,
family level, and practice level?controlled for sociodemographic characteristics.
Main results: The percentage of green space inside a one kilometre and a three kilometre radius had a
significant relation to perceived general health. The relation was generally present at all degrees of
urbanity. The overall relation is somewhat stronger for lower socioeconomic groups. Elderly, youth, and
secondary educated people in large cities seem to benefit more from presence of green areas in their living
environment than other groups in large cities.
Conclusions: This research shows that the percentage of green space in people?s living environment has a
positive association with the perceived general health of residents. Green space seems to be more than just
a luxury and consequently the development of green space should be allocated a more central position in
spatial planning policy.

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