Want to be happier and live longer? Protect green spaces

Scientific American:

Central Park almost didn’t exist. When it was first proposed, no comparable urban green space could be found in the whole of the United States—and it seemed unlikely that one would arise on land that could be put to other, more profitable use – especially with New York real estate values on a steady rise. But on May 5, 1851, Mayor Ambrose Kingsland proposed that a large public park might be just the thing for the growing city. Not only could it have a salutary impact, but it would allow Europeans to see that Americans could, too, be cultured and refined. Their Hyde Parks and Tuileries Gardens had nothing on us.

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.

Read the whole story: Scientific American

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