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Children who grow up in a greener environment have up to 55 percent less chance of developing various mental disorders in the longer run, according to a study which stressed the need for designing green and healthy cities for the generation to come.

The major share of the world’s population now resides in cities and the World Health Organisation estimates that more than 450 millions of the global human population suffer from a mental disorder. Based on satellite data from 1985 to 2013, researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark have spotted the presence of green patches around the childhood residence of almost one million Danes and compared this data with the risk of coming out with one of 16 different mental disorders later in life.

The study which was published in the Journal PNAS, shows that children surrounded by a good amount of green space in childhood have up to 55 percent lower risk of developing any mental disorder.
“With our dataset, we show that the risk of developing a mental disorder decreases incrementally the longer you have been surrounded by green space from birth and up to the age of 10. Green space throughout childhood is therefore extremely important,” said Kristine Engemann from Aarhus University.
The researchers thought, have also found other possible reasons that lead to mental disorders but majorly the analysis indicated a very strong relationship between green space, urban life, and mental disorders.

“There is increasing evidence that the natural environment plays a larger role for mental health than previously thought. Our study is important in giving us a better understanding of its importance across the broader population,” said Engemann.
This knowledge has got very serious implications for sustainable urban planning( or rather planting). And this is because a large proportion of the world’s population lives in cities.
“The coupling between mental health and access to green space in your local area is something that should be considered even more in urban planning to ensure greener and healthier cities and improve mental health of urban residents in the future,” said Jens-Christian Svenning from Aarhus University.

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