Increasing green spaces in cities could prevent many premature deaths every year

Increasing green spaces in cities could prevent many premature deaths every year

News from ISGlobal

Increasing the tree canopy to 30% of land area in the city of Philadelphia (United States) could prevent over 400 premature deaths across the city every year and yield an estimated annual economic benefit of almost four billion dollars. This is the conclusion of a study published in the journal The Lancet Planetary Health, which has, for the first time, analysed the impact of increasing green spaces on premature mortality in an entire city. The project was led by the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) and the United States Forest Service.

Research has shown that green spaces in urban settings are associated with benefits for the physical and mental health of the city’s residents. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis carried out by ISGlobal, the University of Colorado and the World Health Organization (WHO) concluded that residential green spaces can protect against premature all-cause mortality. The meta-analysis, which included nine longitudinal studies involving over eight million people in seven different countries, found a significant association between an increase in green space around homes and a reduction in premature mortality.


Kondo MC, Mueller N, Locke DH, Roman LA, Rojas-Rueda D, Schinasi L, Gascon M, Nieuwenhuijsen M, Greening Cities Can Prevent Premature Deaths: Health Impact Assessment of Philadelphia’s 2015 Tree Canopy Cover Goals. The Lancet Planetary Health. April 2020.

More information:
ISGlobal website