Association between park visits and mental health in a developing country context: The case of Tabriz, Iran

Tan Yigitcanlar, Md. Kamruzzaman, Raziyeh Teimouri, Kenan Degirmenci, Fatemeh Alanjagh

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The positive effects of urban green spaces on physical and mental health of urban residents have been widely documented. These studies, however, mainly focused their empirical investigations on the developed country context. There is limited knowledge on whether a similar impact occurs in the cities of developing countries. The study aims to explore the relationship between park visits and mental health status of residents in Tabriz, Iran. Data on the frequency of park visit and mental health status (14-items) were collected from 300 residents. Factor analysis was conducted and two fundamental dimensions of mental health status (having downward emotional state, and being content with life) were extracted from the 14-items. A multivariate multiple regression model was estimated to identify the links between frequency of park use and mental health status, also controlling for other confounding effects. The results corroborate with that of developed countries, and show that the frequency of park visits is negatively associated with downward emotional state and positively associated with contentedness with life. An increasing accessibility of parks through planning interventions and promoting park use behaviour could be effective policy mechanisms to improve mental health and thereby to reduce the burden of expenditure on mental health in developing countries.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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