Zijian raises an interesting topic regarding mental health and its association with the city.
One characteristic suggested to have a positive impact upon mental health is the increase of green spaces, often referred to as green urbanism. Green urbanism is a vital aspect of sustainable, healthy, liveable cities.
Gardens, parks and allotments offer a number of benefits, with research linking green spaces with good mental health, compared with densely populated cities that have inadequate provision of green spaces and being linked with poorer mental health.
Having access to green spaces has been identified to reduce health inequalities, improve well-being, and aid in the recovery of fatigue and treatment of mental illness. Exposure to green spaces can be psychologically and physiologically restorative by improving mental health and reducing blood pressure. Lots of evidence suggests green spaces, particularly garden allotments and community gardens as therapeutic landscapes that can help with stress reduction.
Figure 1. Incredible Edible Allotment gardens
In addition to having positive benefits associated with mental health, green urbanism is also linked with other health and wellbeing benefits including increased physical activity, greater social cohesion and improved air quality.
De Vries, et al., (2013) Streetscape greenery and health: Stress, social cohesion and physical activity, Social Science and Medicine, 94 26-33
Kaplan, S. (1995) ‘THE RESTORATIVE BENEFITS OF NATURE -TOWARD AN INTEGRATIVE FRAMEWORK’, Journal of Environmental Psychology, 15(3), pp. 169-182.
Kua, E.H, Sia, A. (2017) Green Environment and Mental Health in the City. Mental Health and Illness in the City 445-464
Ulrich, R.S. (1983) ‘Aesthetic and affective response to natural environment’, in Altman, I. and Wohwill, J.F. (eds.) Behaviorand the Natural Environment New York: Plenum Press, pp. 85-125