Residents feel years younger in leafy suburbs reveals new study

The journal Nature recently published a study that showed a strong correlation between an abundance of street trees and local residents’ improved sense of well-being.

According to the authors of the study planting 10 or more trees on a city block “on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000, roughly R128 000, and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.” 

The general perception is that leafy suburbs are more desirable and more prestigious and the study’s authors set out to quantify “the relationship between health and neighborhood greenspace,” and in particular to look at the effects of street trees, rather than other urban green spaces such as parks. 

The study examined the self-reported health perceptions of over 31,000 people in Toronto, Canada. A Canadian city was chosen because of the country’s universal access to publicly funded healthcare, which gave a more equitable starting point for the study.

In looking at the effects of street trees on residents, the study carefully controlled for other variables that can influence perception of health, such as age, diet and income. In addition to the sense of well-being, the authors noted: “We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.”

The authors also found that the results did not apply to tree density in all public green spaces. They write, “It seems that trees that affect people most generally are those that they may have the most contact (visual or presence) with, which we are hypothesizing to be those planted along the streets. Another possible explanation could be that trees on the street may be more important to reductions in air pollution generated by traffic.” 

The researchers acknowledge there are limitations to their study and hope to pursue further research to reduce them. In the meantime they conclude that “street trees are associated with a significant, independent and reliable increase in health benefits in urban populations and that small increases in the number of trees along the street could improve health markedly and in cost-effective ways.”

You can read more about the study here: Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center

  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
Characters remaining

    Latest Property News
    • 17 Nov 2017
      FWJK has announced the launch of its latest residential brand, the Lil’ Apple, which will be launched simultaneously in two developments in Cape Town and Umhlanga totaling 600 apartments. The Lil’ Apple is set to be a brand of FWJK’s New York style apartments which will be rolled out nationally.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      It’s been a tumultuous year on many fronts, with socio-political uncertainty setting the tone for much of South Africa’s economic activity yet despite this and seemingly counter-intuitively, the residential property market has held up well.
    • 17 Nov 2017
      The EAAB (the Estate Agency Affairs Board) recently claimed that around 50,000 illegal estate agents could currently be operating illegally.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Penthouses are synonymous with New York – characterised by high-rise living that is decidedly luxurious and spacious. While exclusivity comes at a price, you can still create a “penthouse” look and feel in your existing apartment or even the upstairs bedroom of a double storey house with some clever design changes and styling touches.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      The area has long been popular with kite surfers and, with escalating property prices in Cape Town itself, is increasingly in demand with home owners who work in town, but are looking to invest in more affordable properties.
    • 16 Nov 2017
      Cape Town’s popularity as a world-class tourist destination has resulted in a spike in the number of homes available for holiday lets and fuelled investor demand for sectional title units with short term rental potential.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      Sappi, one of South Africa’s oldest global companies and a leading global supplier of sustainable woodfibre products, has moved its global and regional headquarters to a new site on the corner of Oxford and 14th Avenue in Rosebank.
    • 15 Nov 2017
      There’s an old saying in real estate that you should seek to make a profit when you buy, not only when you sell – and a large part of succeeding at that endeavour is buying a home in an area with desirable features that will enhance the resale value of your property.
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    Share this Page

    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    Connect with us