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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(6), 618; doi:10.3390/ijerph14060618

Does the Health Impact of Exposure to Neighbourhood Green Space Differ between Population Groups? An Explorative Study in Four European Cities

1
Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health Services, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
2
Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center (AMC), University of Amsterdam, 1100 DD Amsterdam, The Netherlands
3
Centre for Sustainability, Environment and Health, National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands
4
Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise Research, Staffordshire University, Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent ST4 2DF, UK
5
Vytauto Didžiojo Universitetas, 44248 Kaunas, Lithuania
6
ISGlobal, Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), E-08003 Barcelona, Spain
7
University Pompeu Fabra (UPF), 08002 Barcelona, Spain
8
CIBER Epidemiology y Salud Publica (CIBERESP), 08036 Barcelona, Spain
9
Department of Social and Organisational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, Vrije Universiteit (VU), 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands
10
Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social Law, Ghent University, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
11
Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, 2000 Antwerpen, Belgium
12
NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research), 3500 BN Utrecht, The Netherlands
13
Department of Human Geography and Department of Sociology, Utrecht University, 3584 CS Utrecht, The Netherlands
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Harry Timmermans
Received: 9 March 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 5 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Global Health)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [296 KB, uploaded 8 June 2017]

Abstract

It has been suggested that certain residents, such as those with a low socioeconomic status, the elderly, and women, may benefit more from the presence of neighbourhood green space than others. We tested this hypothesis for age, gender, educational level, and employment status in four European cities. Data were collected in Barcelona (Spain; n = 1002), Kaunas (Lithuania; n = 989), Doetinchem (The Netherlands; n = 847), and Stoke-on-Trent (UK; n = 933) as part of the EU-funded PHENOTYPE project. Surveys were used to measure mental and general health, individual characteristics, and perceived neighbourhood green space. Additionally, we used audit data about neighbourhood green space. In Barcelona, there were positive associations between neighbourhood green space and general health among low-educated residents. In the other cities and for the other population groups, there was little evidence that the association between health and neighbourhood green space differed between population groups. Overall, our study does not support the assumption that the elderly, women, and residents who are not employed full-time benefit more from neighbourhood green space than others. Only in the highly urbanised city of Barcelona did the low-educated group benefit from neighbourhood green spaces. Perhaps neighbourhood green spaces are more important for the health of low-educated residents in particularly highly urbanised areas. View Full-Text
Keywords: green space; mental health; general health; European cities; subpopulations green space; mental health; general health; European cities; subpopulations
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ruijsbroek, A.; Droomers, M.; Kruize, H.; van Kempen, E.; Gidlow, C.J.; Hurst, G.; Andrusaityte, S.; Nieuwenhuijsen, M.J.; Maas, J.; Hardyns, W.; Stronks, K.; Groenewegen, P.P. Does the Health Impact of Exposure to Neighbourhood Green Space Differ between Population Groups? An Explorative Study in Four European Cities. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 618.

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