Street trees make us happier!
The new finding fits with a host of evidence linking urban greenery to mental health.”
Please see abstract and links below to a recent study in Britain that suggests “street trees may be a positive urban asset to decrease the risk of negative mental health outcomes.”
Growing evidence suggests an association between access to urban greenspace and mental health and wellbeing. Street trees may be an important facet of everyday exposure to nature in urban environments, but there is little evidence regarding their role in influencing population mental health. In this brief report, we raise the issue of street trees in the nature-health nexus, and use secondary data sources to examine the association between the density of street trees (trees/km street) in London boroughs and rates of antidepressant prescribing. After adjustment for potential confounders, and allowing for unmeasured area-effects using Bayesian mixed effects models, we find an inverse association, with a decrease of 1.18 prescriptions per thousand population per unit increase in trees per km of street (95% credible interval 0.00, 2.45). This study suggests that street trees may be a positive urban asset to decrease the risk of negative mental health outcomes.