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Planning ahead: the mental health value of natural environments

Over the past decade, a growing number of studies have linked urban green space and aspects of biodiversity with emotional wellbeing. Although the existing body of epidemiological work has been very encouraging—collectively providing a strong argument that access to areas rich in vegetation, bodies of water, or both is important for mental health—much of the research relies heavily on cross-sectional designs. Thus, the translation and application of existing research to policy and planning decisions has been hampered by the scarcity of prospective evidence of natural environments as a causative factor in promoting mental health resilience.

Jeffrey M Craig

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, Susan L Prescott

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