Neighbourhood green space, social environment and mental health: an examination in four European cities

Annemarie Ruijsbroek*, Sigrid M. Mohnen, Mariël Droomers, Hanneke Kruize, Christopher Gidlow, Regina Gražulevičiene, Sandra Andrusaityte, Jolanda Maas, Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen, Margarita Triguero-Mas, Daniel Masterson, Naomi Ellis, Elise van Kempen, Wim Hardyns, Karien Stronks, Peter P. Groenewegen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Objectives: This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood green space, the neighbourhood social environment (social cohesion, neighbourhood attachment, social contacts), and mental health in four European cities. Methods: The PHENOTYPE study was carried out in 2013 in Barcelona (Spain), Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom), Doetinchem (The Netherlands), and Kaunas (Lithuania). 3771 adults living in 124 neighbourhoods answered questions on mental health, neighbourhood social environment, and amount and quality of green space. Additionally, audit data on neighbourhood green space were collected. Multilevel regression analyses examined the relation between neighbourhood green space and individual mental health and the influence of neighbourhood social environment. Results: Mental health was only related to green (audit) in Barcelona. The amount and quality of neighbourhood green space (audit and perceived) were related to social cohesion in Doetinchem and Stoke-on-Trent and to neighbourhood attachment in Doetinchem. In all four cities, mental health was associated with social contacts. Conclusions: Neighbourhood green was related to mental health only in Barcelona. Though neighbourhood green was related to social cohesion and attachment, the neighbourhood social environment seems not the underlying mechanism for this relationship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-667
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Public Health
Volume62
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Green
  • Mental health
  • Neighbourhood
  • Social environment

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