A spatial analysis of proximate greenspace and mental wellbeing in London

Houlden, V., Porto de Albuquerque, J. , Weich, S. and Jarvis, S. (2019) A spatial analysis of proximate greenspace and mental wellbeing in London. Applied Geography, 109, 102036. (doi: 10.1016/j.apgeog.2019.102036)

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While local-area greenspace is associated with reduced symptoms of mental distress and greater life satisfaction, most previous research has measured the amount of local-area greenspace within administrative boundaries, and found mixed results for associations between greenspace and multidimensional mental wellbeing. The study was designed to examine whether the amount of greenspace within a radius of individuals’ homes was associated with mental wellbeing, testing the government guideline that greenspace should be available within 300 m of homes. Individual and Household-level data were drawn from the Annual Population Survey at postcode level (APS, Pooled Dataset 2012–2015), which includes 3 mental wellbeing measures, covering aspects of life satisfaction, sense of worth, and happiness, as well as a range of socio-demographic variables. Greenspace data were obtained Greenspace Information for Greater London Group (GiGL), and was used to calculated the amount of greenspace within a 300 m radius of individuals. Linear regression models revealed positive and statistically significant associations between the amount of greenspace and indicators of life satisfaction and worth. Moran's I, an indicator of spatial autocorrelation, revealed statistically significant clustering of the residuals of these models, so Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) models were calculated, in order to adjust for underlying spatial processes within the data and investigate the geographic variation in the association between local greenspace and mental wellbeing. The global GWR model revealed that an increase in 1 ha of greenspace within 300 m of residents was associated with a statistically significant 0.803 increase in life satisfaction, 0.740 and 0.521 for worth and happiness, respectively. This therefore provides some support for the inclusion of greenspace within 300 m of homes. Local GWR coefficients revealed slight variation in the strength of these associations across the study space. Therefore, further analyses are required to investigate whether the walking (network distance), absolute size, or type of each greenspace are able to explain this spatial variation.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:VH was supported through a Centre for Doctoral Training by a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant number: EP/LO16400/1.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Porto de Albuquerque, Professor Joao
Authors: Houlden, V., Porto de Albuquerque, J., Weich, S., and Jarvis, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Applied Geography
ISSN (Online):1873-7730
Published Online:21 June 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Applied Geography 109:102036
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence

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