Underlying Mechanisms of Urban Green Areas’ Influence on Residents’ Health – A Case Study from Belgrade, Serbia

Publication from the AllianceAuthor: Isidora Simović, Jelena Tomićević Dubljević, Oliver Tošković, Maja Vujčić Trkulja and Ivana Živojinović
Year of publication: 2023

The positive impacts of urban forests on residents’ health are widely acknowledged. However, the methods used to quantify and demonstrate this relation are still a focus of research. The aim of the paper is to examine the relationship between the size and quality of different urban green areas to residents’ health based on the face-to-face survey and remote sensing data at 12 locations in Belgrade. The socio-economic and self-perceived health characteristics were analyzed. Based on green areas’ size and pollution, municipalities were divided into “less green” and “green”. Vegetation quality was assessed by Sentinel-2 vegetation indexes (VI). Results show that residents in less green and green municipalities differ in physical, social, and emotional health. The quality of green areas was inversely proportional to the amount of money spent on medications and the number of doctor’s visits indicating potential mechanisms of the health benefits of green areas. The lack of facilities led to different appreciation among residents. Results suggest that the quality of green infrastructure is more important than the amount in promoting residents’ health. Relating the characteristics of green areas to visitors proved to improve the correlation between residents’ health and the quality of green areas.

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