In January 2021, a study was conducted by a group of researchers to investigate the positive effects of living in homes close to street trees, how it influences our mental health and overall well-being. The initiative to plant street trees in the cities is a nature-based approach to reduce the risk of depression, along with addressing climate change and biodiversity loss.
Since growing urbanization is posing a great threat to mental health and biodiversity, street trees have started playing a significant role in renewing biodiversity along with maintaining sound mental health. The study analyzed the association of street tree density and species richness with antidepressants prescribed to 9751 inhabitants of Leipzig, Germany. It examined the spatial scale effects of street trees at varying distances around participant’s homes, using Euclidean buffers of 100, 300, 500, and 1000 m.
It was found out that a lower rate of antidepressants was prescribed to individuals living within 100 m of the higher density of street trees. Additionally, for individuals with low socioeconomic status (SES), the high density of street trees at 100 m around their home showed a notably reduced probability of antidepressant prescription. Thus, the study implies that staying close to street trees may reduce the need to prescribe antidepressants.
To Know More, You May Refer To:
Melissa R. Marselle, Diana E. Bowler, Jan Watzema, David Eichenberg, Toralf Kirsten, Aletta Bonn. Urban street tree biodiversity and antidepressant prescriptions. Scientific Reports, 2020; 10 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-79924-5