Green spaces in cities promote well-being and mental health — ‘Nature’ Neuroscience study published with participation of GIScience researchers at Heidelberg University – INTERDISCIPLINARY NATURE STUDY SHOWS THAT INNER TOWN GREEN DIRECTLY INFLUENCES ON CITY RESIDENTS
Inner city green areas such as lawns, flowerbeds, trees or parks can directly improve the well-being of city dwellers. These are the findings of a recent study conducted by scientists from GIScience Research Group at Heidelberg University and the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT) together with the Central Institute for Mental Health (ZI) in Mannheim and researchers from the Mental HMealth Lab at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT). It was also examined who benefits from this effect. The research results were published in “Nature Neuroscience” ( https://www.nature.com/
As Prof. Dr. Alexander Zipf, head of the GIScience Research Group at the Institute of Geography of Heidelberg University explains, it is the innovative combination of methods in the fields of epidemiology, psychology, geoinformatics and neuroimaging that has made these socially relevant study results possible. Practical application of the results can for example be found in urban planning. “Geoinformatics is playing an increasingly important role in research on environmental issues,” says Dr. Sven Lautenbach from the Heidelberg Institute for Geoinformation Technology (HeiGIT), which is also headed by Prof. Zipf. The study also supports current research on healthy and green routing. Here, route planning systems are developed that suggest user-dependent pedestrian routes that have particularly high shares of green areas or particularly low noise levels.
H. Tost, M. Reichert, U. Braun, I. Reinhard, R. Peters, S. Lautenbach, A. Hoell, E. Schwarz, U. Ebner-Priemer, A. Zipf, and A. Meyer-Lindenberg (2019): Neural correlates of individual differences in affective benefits of real-life urban green space exposure. Nature Neuroscience (published online 29 July 2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/