Do Urban Green Spaces Mean Happier Citizens?

We often hear about how spending time in nature could help us improve our well-being. A new study is providing some proof for this belief. It was observed that urban green spaces in economically developed countries are directly related to the life satisfaction levels of its citizens.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, analysed data about urban green spaces across major cities in 60 countries in addition to their World Happiness Report Ranking. It was concluded that citizen’s happiness levels in terms of life satisfaction are related to the GDP and the presence of urban green spaces.

The happiness of the citizens was found to have a direct relation to the presence of urban green spaces in the cities where they resided. However, it was more true of the 30 countries with higher GDP levels. The other half of the 60 countries whose GDP was on the lower side showed a stronger association between citizen’s happiness and economic growth. However, the correlation between green spaces in cities and the happiness of its residents was evident in all 60 countries.

Photo by Akil Mazumder on

“There has recently been an increase in the number of studies using big data from satellite images to solve social conundrums,” said Professor Meeyoung Cha, one of the authors of this study. “The tool developed for this investigation can also be used to quantify the area of aquatic environments like lakes and the seaside, and it will now be possible to analyze the relationship between citizen happiness and aquatic environments in future studies.”

The authors of the study note that this interrelation may be facilitated by the presence of green spaces enabling social interactions, aesthetic enjoyment, stress relief. Additionally, it could also be helping by allowing better physical activity and sheltering from environmental stressors.

Considering these factors, the study notes that the guarantee of public safety in spaces such as parks also plays a role in strengthening this correlation. It also highlights the need for provision and inclusion of green spaces in urban planning, especially in developing countries. Furthermore, the maintenance of such spaces should be planned after taking into account the effects of climate change and the difficulties it may present.

The results of this study have been published in the EPJ Data Science journal.


Terra Love View All →

I am a simple writer who wishes to use her skill to create more awareness about the planet that offers us life.

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