Existing studies of the health effects of urban built environment have focused overwhelmingly on physical health. The potential role of neighborhood built environment in affecting people’s mental wellbeing is understudied. This talk introduces some of our studies that intend to partially fill this gap.
Based on a large-scale household survey in 16 representative neighborhoods in Beijing, China, we develop hierarchical multilevel models to examine how different urban built environment affects residents’ mental wellbeing, after controlling for their health status, personal characteristics, and neighborhood social environment. We find that, however, among the built environment variables such as building density, floor area ratio, land use mix, neighborhood size, etc., green space coverage, measured by using remote sensing technique (NDVI), is the only significant one. A significant and positive association between neighborhood social environment and mental wellbeing is identified as well.
We further investigate the mechanisms of green space coverage in influencing residents’ mental wellbeing. The preliminary results show that between greenness and mental wellbeing, community cohesion and outdoor exercise may play intermediary roles. Policy implications are discussed in the end.
About the Speaker:
Dr. QIN Bo is the Professor and Head of the Department of Urban Planning and Management at Renmin University of China. He obtained his B.Eng. in Urban Planning from Wuhan University, M.Sc. in Human Geography from Peking University, and Ph.D. from the National University of Singapore. His research interests include urban spatial restructuring in Chinese cities, GIS application in urban studies, and urban sustainable development in China. He has published numerous articles in both international renowned journals such as JAPA, Urban Studies, Landscape and Urban Planning, and top Chinese journals in urban planning.
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