News Release

Can greening vacant urban land improve mental health?

Peer-Reviewed Publication

JAMA Network

Bottom Line: Physical conditions in a neighborhood matter. Trash, a lack of sidewalks and parks, and vacant or dilapidated spaces have been associated with depression, while living near green spaces has been associated with less depression, anxiety and stress. In Philadelphia, a citywide cluster randomized trial looked at whether greening vacant urban land by getting rid of trash, grading the land, planting new grass and some trees, and installing low wooden fencing could improve self-reported mental health.

Authors: Eugenia C. South, M.D., M.S., of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, and coauthors

Related Material: The invited commentary, "Nature Exposure Gets a Boost From a Cluster Randomized Trial on the Mental Health Benefits of Greening Vacant Lots," by Michael Jerret, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Matilda van den Bosch, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, also is available on the For The Media website.


To Learn More: The full study is available on the For The Media website.


Editor's Note: The article contains conflict of interest and funding/support disclosures. Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

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About JAMA Network Open: JAMA Network Open is the new online-only open access general medical journal from the JAMA Network. Every Friday, the journal publishes peer-reviewed clinical research and commentary in more than 40 medical and health subject areas. Every article is free online from the day of publication.

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