Such parks and green spaces protect against premature death

Such parks and green spaces protect against premature death

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Does the shape of parks affect life expectancy?

Irregularly shaped parks and green spaces reduce the risk of premature death for people living nearby, according to a recent study. Unfortunately, parks in our cities are often laid out in squares so that they can be optimally integrated into the cityscape.

A recent study by Texas A&M University has now found that irregular parks in our cities help reduce the risk of premature death. The results of the study were published in the English language journal "The Lancet Planetary Health".

Parks in cities are often square

Often, parks in U.S. cities are square due to the surrounding blocks. The research group at Texas A&M University now found that irregularly shaped green spaces would be significantly better for the life expectancy of people living near the parks.

Studies mostly focus on the size of parks

Almost all studies that examine the effects of the natural environment on human health mainly focus on the size of green spaces in cities and municipalities, reports the research group. In their new investigation, however, they were able to determine that the shape of green areas and parks has an impact on the risk of premature death that should not be underestimated.

Relationship between landscape metrics and health outcomes?

The researchers found that the shape of green spaces plays an important role when it comes to improving the life expectancy of the population. Statistical analysis of the development data in Philadelphia was used for the study to determine whether there is a connection between landscape-based metrics and health data and how strong this is.

Health promotion through the form of parks

The research group found that people from areas with more connected, aggregated and complex green spaces were less at risk of premature death. The results of the study suggest that linking existing parks with green paths or generally adding new, interconnected parks could be possible strategies for health promotion, the researchers explain.

More access points in complex shaped parks?

It has been shown that the complexity of the park shape is positively associated with a lower risk of death. According to the researchers, this association could be due to the increased number of access points through complex green spaces.

The more complex the parking form is, the better

Irregularly shaped parks are either specially designed in this way or are shaped by the plot of land on which they are laid out. A lower risk of death was not associated with a specific form, but the more complex the parking form, the lower the risk of premature death among the local population.

Urban planning should take results into account

The relationship between park shape and mortality is important for city planning and general city design, so as to create a healthier environment for people. The results of the study bring us closer to understanding the mechanisms underlying the protective effects of green spaces on mortality, the research system summarizes. (as)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Huaqing Wang, Louis G Tassinary: Effects of greenspace morphology on mortality at the neighborhood level: a cross-sectional ecological study, in The Lancet Planetary Health (query: 28.11.2019), The Lancet Planetary Health

Video: Demand for green spaces such as parks and forests is growing in the wake of COVID-19 (July 2022).


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