Green spaces have a number of health benefits, but new research has found that irregularly shaped parks are better than square parks…

Some green spaces are square, a reflection of the city block where they’re located – but irregularly shaped parks reduce the mortality risk of residents who live near them.

This is according to a study by Huaquing Wang, a Ph.D. Urban and Regional Sciences student and Lou Tassinary, professor of visualisation.

‘Nearly all studies investigating the effects of natural environments on human health are focused on the amount of a community’s green space’, write the scholars in a paper describing their project. ‘We found that the shape or form of green space has an important role in this association’.

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Connected green spaces

The researchers performed statistical analyses of Philadelphia land cover data and found that residents who lived in areas with more connected and complex-shaped green spaces had a lower mortality risk.

According to the research, the association might be attributable to the increased number of access points provided by complex-shaped green spaces.

“Our results suggest that linking existing parks with greenways or adding new, connected parks might be fiscally accessible strategies for promoting health,” says Wang and Tassinary.

The relationship between park shape and mortality is important to city designers and planners who seek to create healthier living environments, the researchers write in the paper.

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Source: Texas A&M University via www.sciencedaily.com

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.