Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2019

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Environmental Studies

First Advisor

Colleen Reid

Second Advisor

Dale Miller

Third Advisor

Steven Vanderheiden

Abstract

This study examined the relationship between green space and public health outcomes across six cities in the United States as well as the role of green space policy in promoting health. Green space is suggested to improve health outcomes through various pathways such as facilitating mental rejuvenation, promoting physical activity, and encouraging social connection between community members. Using existing data, I analyzed the correlations between percentage of green space present in six U.S. cities and the prevalence of four different health metrics. I included an adjustment for social factors as confounding variables. I found a consistent negative relationship between the prevalence of poor mental health and percent green space. The results also provided some evidence of additional factors that may be influencing the use of green space and the prevalence of health outcomes within each city. The study as a whole is indicative of the complex dynamic between green policy, urban green spaces, and public health.

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