It is widely recognised that many of the underlying determinants of inequalities in health and well-being are environmental, and that there is an association between health and access to green spaces. However, the relationships between quality and extent of green space, proximity to and use of such areas, and health outcomes, have yet to be quantified appropriately and the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Public policy and programmes such as the strategic objectives of the Scottish Government of a Greener (i.e. improve Scotland?s natural and built environment and the sustainable use), and Healthier (i.e. help people to sustain and improve their health, especially in disadvantaged communities) Scotland, seek to deliver improvements in people?s surroundings and the environment. Such objectives include policies relating to sustainable development (i.e. Choosing our Future – Scotland?s Sustainable Development Strategy), biodiversity (i.e. the strategy for enhancement and biodiversity in Scotland), rural development, and mental health and well-being. However, gaps exist in the evidence base, and tools and indicators are inadequate at present to support the targeting of measures and linking of policies across rural and urban areas.

The proposed research aims to test the importance of factors associated with public and individual perceptions, and actual measures, of the environment, and measures of its character, directly related to people?s health and well-being. These tests will inform assessments of the effects of land and environmental management policies on the provision of environments that are conducive to good public health and well-being and the role that quality can play in the benefits of green spaces.

  • Website :
  • Project start : 2008
  • Project end : 2012
  • Contact Person : David Miller
  • Funding Agency : Scottish Government Rural and Environment Research and Analysis Directorate (RERAD)
  • Project Partners : James Hutton Institute ands OPENspace research centre
Image Title: GreenHealth