Want Smart Kids? Provide Access to Green Space

A new study finds evidence of the benefits of green space for the cognitive development of children.

Read Time: 1 minute

June 18, 2015, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


"A new study out Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that green spaces can actually boost cognitive outcomes in children—in part by protecting their brains from air pollutants," according to an article by Olga Khazan.

Khazan breaks down the study's methodology, which collected data from schoolchildren in Barcelona. After measuring the amount of greenery proximate to the schools, homes, and commutes of children and testing measures of memory and attention, the study produced the following findings:

The children who had more vegetation around their schools showed more progress in working memory and attention over the course of a year, a finding that held true even after the authors controlled for socioeconomic status. (The associations with the commute and home-based greenery were not as strong.)

Khazan goes on to detail the implications of the findings for the designs of schools.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in The Atlantic

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