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Greening Vacant Lots Improves Depression

According to new reaearch, the power of green space where vacant lots previously stood includes mental health benefits, especially in low-income neighborhoods.
July 24, 2018, 8am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Vacant Lot
Amy Gahran

Rhitu Charterjee shares news of a new study that finds evidence of the benefit of converting vacant land to green space for mental health in the nearby community.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, Columbia University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture published the study in JAMA Network Open and found "that having access to even small green spaces can reduce symptoms of depression for people who live near them, especially in low-income neighborhoods."

As explained in the article, the study used an innovative methodology, more like that of a drug trial, to reveal its findings.

The study focused on Philadelphia, which has an estimated 40,000 vacant lots scattered around the city but concentrated in certain neighborhoods.

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Published on Monday, July 23, 2018 in NPR
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