College

College of Engineering

Department

Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program

Degree Name

BA in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies

Date

3-2019

Advisor(s)

David Gillette, Michael Haungs

Abstract/Summary

This investigation intends to determine the best methods for incorporating public green space into dense urban areas, for the betterment of residents' mental health. Data from studies showing differences in the prevalence of anxiety and depression in urban and rural areas are discussed alongside data from studies looking at the effect that certain types of green space might have on mental health. While there is no exact consensus on the extent to which nature has positive effects on mental health there is enough of a correlation to argue for the implementation of public green spaces in urban design, in order to potentially curb and prevent anxiety and depression in an increasingly urbanized society. Urban parks and street trees have long been components of city design and, as this discussion suggests, may be beneficial not only for ecological and environmental health, but for public mental health as well. Data from a localized survey study is included, looking at the correlation between rates of depression and proximity to local parks in San Luis Obispo County. No correlation was found between the two factors for this data set, however a small sample size likely affected the validity of that conclusion.

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