The latest study provides insight into how urban planning affects mental health, revealing a link between urban density and depression.
some scientific reseach Densely populated areas have been shown to be better environmentally friendly, but at the same time carry a higher risk of depression. At the same time, a lower prevalence of depression in rural areas would seem to be expected Scientific alert.
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City dwellers deal with stressors such as air pollution, noise, isolation, and the scarcity of sunlight penetrating the first floor of high-rise apartment buildings, to name a few. These stressors may explain the 39% increased risk of depression observed in urban areas of Western Europe and the United States. However, not all metropolitan areas are created equal. A research team recently published a study that found higher levels of depression in suburban residents than in urban centers.
Scientists have attempted to identify the most important elements of urban design that affect mental health, with the goal of shaping cities that promote environmental sustainability and mental well-being.
One hectare of land can accommodate the same number of people in low-rise buildings or in rare skyscrapers. Skyscrapers can be located in busy commercial areas or in less densely populated urban areas, with exclusive apartments overlooking a vast green area.
Suburban areas are generally characterized by a moderate density of low-rise buildings. What design approach should be preferred?
An international team of scientists from Yale, Stockholm and Geffle universities and the universities of Aarhus and Copenhagen sifted through a large amount of data for their study. Using artificial intelligence techniques, they analyzed satellite images of all buildings in Denmark over three decades (1987-2017) and sorted them by height and building density. This data, together with home addresses and Danish health and socioeconomic records, allowed the scientists to control for known risk factors for depression, such as socioeconomic status or parental history of mental health problems.
Their results do not provide conclusive evidence that high-density urban centers have a negative effect on levels of depression. Urban centers that provide multiple opportunities for social interaction can be beneficial for mental health.
Interestingly, rural areas do not increase mental health risks either. Adjusting for socioeconomic variables, the risk was higher in suburbs characterized by low-rise single-family buildings. Surprisingly, skyscrapers in central or suburban areas with easy access to open areas such as parks or waterfronts had a surprisingly low risk.
Thus, the type of area associated with increased mental health risk is typically characterized by medium-density suburban single-family residential areas.
Implications for planning
The increased risk of depression in sprawling, low-rise suburbs may be due in part to long car journeys, limited public space, and insufficient population density to support local businesses such as shops, cafes, and restaurants. However, other factors may also play a role.
This is not to deny the potential benefits of suburban living. Some may prefer the privacy, quiet, and private garden that the suburbs provide.
Scholars sought to ensure that their study served as a basis for urban planning. The study is not a call for more expansion of car-dependent suburban single-family housing if alleviating mental health and climate change are a priority. A more viable approach might be investing in high-rise housing that reduces reliance on personal transportation, combined with strategic spatial planning to improve access to the city’s waterfronts, canals, lakes, or parks.
Improving existing suburbs, increasing access to city services, open public spaces, and developing driveable neighborhoods in these neighborhoods can also be beneficial. The study emphasizes the social nature of man. A certain population density is needed to create vibrant communities that support business and public transportation while providing energizing open spaces.
Copenhageners, for example, often socialize along the canal over a drink or pastry. These areas balance commerce and nature, creating social sites. Urban centers also have less of an impact on climate change than car-dependent suburban areas. Although income and unemployment were taken into account in the study, there is no doubt that social and economic factors influence housing choices. Properties near green areas or on the waterfront in the city center tend to be more expensive than homes in the suburbs.
Thus, addressing emerging inequalities, through mixed-income housing projects, is critical if urban planning efforts to improve wealth are to be inclusive and not exacerbate the displacement of low-income communities.
The results of the Danish study may not be universal due to cultural and geographical factors that affect mental health. Nevertheless, the system developed in this study can serve as a guide for future research in different global contexts.
previously to focus He wrote about how gardening can positively affect health. According to research, gardening can play an important role in preventing cancer, as well as the development of chronic and mental illnesses.
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