Linking public urban green spaces and human well-being: A systematic review

Public urban green spaces provide people with many benefits. Understanding the relationship between public urban green spaces? characteristics and human well-being components may assist in future planning and design of these spaces. This study performed a systematic bibliographic review to analyse the relationships between green spaces? specific characteristics and human well-being components. The green spaces characteristics found in 153 articles were divided in four groups: structure, biodiversity, naturalness, and others; while dimensions of human well-being were divided into four groups: health, security, good social relations, and freedom of choice and action. The number of green spaces and their percentage of vegetation cover and size (structure category) improved human well-being, in all aspects, especially in health. Structure and biodiversity are the characteristics most highly rated in the literature. These green spaces? biodiversity and naturalness contribute to human wellbeing through improvements in health (particularly mental health) and good social relations. The most frequently methods used to assess the relationship of public urban green spaces and human well-being are mainly oriented towards studying perception of the green space?s users. This result highlights an opportunity to assess the congruence between methods evaluating perception and objective measurement. Our findings may provide tools for decision-makers to integrate green spaces into planning, identifying specific characteristics of public urban green spaces that promote human well-being and to face climate change.

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