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Open AccessArticle

Approaching Environmental Health Disparities and Green Spaces: An Ecosystem Services Perspective

USDA Forest Service, Southern Research Station, Integrating Human and Natural Systems, 320 Green Street, Athens, GA 30602, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editors: Stephen Thomas, Devon Payne-Sturges, Christiane Bunge and Kenneth Olden
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(2), 1952-1968; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph120201952
Received: 25 November 2014 / Revised: 22 December 2014 / Accepted: 28 January 2015 / Published: 10 February 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eliminating Health Disparities to Achieve Health Equity)
Health disparities occur when adverse health conditions are unequal across populations due in part to gaps in wealth. These disparities continue to plague global health. Decades of research suggests that the natural environment can play a key role in sustaining the health of the public. However, the influence of the natural environment on health disparities is not well-articulated. Green spaces provide ecosystem services that are vital to public health. This paper discusses the link between green spaces and some of the nation’s leading health issues such as obesity, cardiovascular health, heat-related illness, and psychological health. These associations are discussed in terms of key demographic variables—race, ethnicity, and income. The authors also identify research gaps and recommendations for future research. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental health disparities; ecosystem services; green space; urban health; nature; parks environmental health disparities; ecosystem services; green space; urban health; nature; parks
MDPI and ACS Style

Jennings, V.; Gaither, C.J. Approaching Environmental Health Disparities and Green Spaces: An Ecosystem Services Perspective. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 1952-1968.

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