PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2019, Vol. 38 ›› Issue (7): 1103-1110.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2019.07.014

• Articles • Previous Articles    

Influence of neighborhood environment and noise pollution on residents’ mental health in Beijing

Chunjiang LI1(), Jing MA2, Yanwei CHAI1,*(), Mei-Po KWAN3   

  1. 1. College of Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China
    2. Faculty of Geographical Science, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
    3. Department of Geography and Resource Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2018-12-12 Revised:2019-03-01 Online:2019-07-28 Published:2019-07-28
  • Contact: Yanwei CHAI;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 41529101, 41601148 and 41571144.


Mental health has become one of the main health challenges that urban residents are facing in today's society. Previous research has proven that neighborhood built and social environments can influence mental health. However, related research was mainly focused on Western developed countries. Furthermore, previous research paid little attention to noise pollution and failed to consider the influences of neighborhood environment and noise pollution together. This may be one of the reasons that the results of previous research are inconsistent. Based on the health survey data of urban residents conducted in 2017 in 26 communities in Beijing, this study used a multilevel Logistic model to investigate the relationships between neighborhood environment (including built environment and social environment) and perceived noise pollution from various sources (including road traffic noise, railway and subway noise, store and restaurant noise, and housing renovation noise) and residents' mental health. The results show that residents' mental health is significantly affected by both the neighborhood environment and noise pollution level. As for neighborhood built environment, distance to main roads, which indicates traffic volume, as well as accessibility to health services and sports and recreational facilities, are significantly correlated with mental health. However, distance to public parks shows no significant relationship with residents' mental health. According to previous research, accessibility to parks is not equal to the actual use of them, and the latter relates to mental health more directly. In terms of neighborhood social environment, consistent with previous research, the number of greeting neighbors is positively correlated with mental health. Besides, neighborhood satisfaction also shows positive and significant association with mental health. The result suggests that it is necessary to promote community belongingness, neighborhood satisfaction, and social networks of residents through a variety of community activities and campaigns, in order to maintain mental health. Perception of trust and safety of neighborhoods show no significant association with mental health. Finally, housing renovation noise shows significant relationship with mental health, while other noise sources like road traffic, railways and subways, and stores and restaurants show no significant association with mental health. This result indicates that housing renovation noise has become the main source of noise affecting the mental health of Beijing residents, and it also reflects the rapid urban transition and large-scale mobility that happened in Beijing. Compared with previous research, this study combined neighborhood built and social environments as well as different sources of noise pollution to give a more comprehensive understanding on their influences on residents' mental health. This article also tried to explain the results in the context of rapid urban transition in China and to enrich the research findings for developing countries. However, there are still many areas in which more research is needed.

Key words: neighborhood environment, noise pollution, self-reported mental health, multilevel model, Beijing