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International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 657–667 | Cite as

Neighbourhood green space, social environment and mental health: an examination in four European cities

  • Annemarie Ruijsbroek
  • Sigrid M. Mohnen
  • Mariël Droomers
  • Hanneke Kruize
  • Christopher Gidlow
  • Regina Gražulevičiene
  • Sandra Andrusaityte
  • Jolanda Maas
  • Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen
  • Margarita Triguero-Mas
  • Daniel Masterson
  • Naomi Ellis
  • Elise van Kempen
  • Wim Hardyns
  • Karien Stronks
  • Peter P. Groenewegen
Original Article

Abstract

Objectives

This study examines the relationship between neighbourhood green space, the neighbourhood social environment (social cohesion, neighbourhood attachment, social contacts), and mental health in four European cities.

Methods

The PHENOTYPE study was carried out in 2013 in Barcelona (Spain), Stoke-on-Trent (United Kingdom), Doetinchem (The Netherlands), and Kaunas (Lithuania). 3771 adults living in 124 neighbourhoods answered questions on mental health, neighbourhood social environment, and amount and quality of green space. Additionally, audit data on neighbourhood green space were collected. Multilevel regression analyses examined the relation between neighbourhood green space and individual mental health and the influence of neighbourhood social environment.

Results

Mental health was only related to green (audit) in Barcelona. The amount and quality of neighbourhood green space (audit and perceived) were related to social cohesion in Doetinchem and Stoke-on-Trent and to neighbourhood attachment in Doetinchem. In all four cities, mental health was associated with social contacts.

Conclusions

Neighbourhood green was related to mental health only in Barcelona. Though neighbourhood green was related to social cohesion and attachment, the neighbourhood social environment seems not the underlying mechanism for this relationship.

Keywords

Neighbourhood Green Social environment Mental health 

Notes

Acknowledgements

On behalf of the PHENOTYPE Consortium, the field workers Magdalena van den Berg, Gemma Hurst, Margarita Triguero-Mas and Sandra Andrusaityte, are gratefully acknowledged. We thank Peter Spreeuwenberg (NIVEL) for his advice on the statistical analysis.

Compliance with ethical standards

Funding

The work was supported by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7/2007–2013) [Grant Agreement No: 282,996].

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

38_2017_963_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (105 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 105 KB)
38_2017_963_MOESM2_ESM.pdf (119 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (PDF 118 KB)
38_2017_963_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (85 kb)
Supplementary material 3 (PDF 85 KB)

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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Annemarie Ruijsbroek
    • 1
  • Sigrid M. Mohnen
    • 1
  • Mariël Droomers
    • 2
  • Hanneke Kruize
    • 3
  • Christopher Gidlow
    • 4
  • Regina Gražulevičiene
    • 5
  • Sandra Andrusaityte
    • 5
  • Jolanda Maas
    • 6
  • Mark J. Nieuwenhuijsen
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Margarita Triguero-Mas
    • 7
    • 8
    • 9
  • Daniel Masterson
    • 4
  • Naomi Ellis
    • 4
  • Elise van Kempen
    • 3
  • Wim Hardyns
    • 10
    • 11
  • Karien Stronks
    • 2
  • Peter P. Groenewegen
    • 12
    • 13
  1. 1.Centre for Nutrition, Prevention and Health ServicesNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Public Health, Academic Medical Center (AMC)University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Centre for Sustainability, Environment and HealthNational Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)BilthovenThe Netherlands
  4. 4.Centre for Sport, Health and Exercise ResearchStaffordshire UniversityStaffordshireUK
  5. 5.Vytauto Didžiojo UniversitetasKaunasLithuania
  6. 6.Department of Social and Organisational Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and EducationVrije Universiteit (VU)AmsterdamThe Netherlands
  7. 7.Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL)Barcelona Biomedical Research ParkBarcelonaSpain
  8. 8.University Pompeu Fabra (UPF)BarcelonaSpain
  9. 9.CIBER Epidemiology y Salud Publica (CIBERESP)BarcelonaSpain
  10. 10.Department of Criminology, Criminal Law and Social LawGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  11. 11.Faculty of LawUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium
  12. 12.NIVEL (Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research)UtrechtThe Netherlands
  13. 13.Department of Human Geography and Department of SociologyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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