Want to be happier and live longer? Protect green spaces

Posted on May 20, 2013

Central Park first opened to the public in the winter of 1859, though it would be a full twenty years from the Greensward Plan’s approval for it to be completed in full. Today, it’s hailed as a masterpiece of prescient urban planning, a synonym for New York’s vitality and beauty. But it’s also something more. Central Park may well be one of the reasons that New York City now boasts the single fastest increase in life expectancy of any city in the U.S, to the point where its citizens’ average lifespan—82—now equals that of Japan.

A new study in Psychological Science reveals that the benefits of urban green space—and the more of it, the better—extend far beyond the purely ornamental. Increases in green space correspond to increases in happiness, decreases in depression, and a general bump to well-being and life satisfaction. While we may not be happier if we live in California, it seems like we certainly are if we live with access to extensive greenery.

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Category(s):Stress Management

Source material from Scientific American