PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (7): 1141-1153.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.07.006

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Exploring the effect of urban greenspace on residents’ mental health using a quasi-natural experiment: Taking Wuhan East Lake Greenway as an example

XIE Bo(), WANG Xiao*(), WU Lei   

  1. School of Urban Design, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2020-10-27 Revised:2021-02-09 Online:2021-07-28 Published:2021-09-28
  • Contact: WANG Xiao;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41971179);Humanities and Social Sciences Research Program of the Ministry of Education(17YJC840045)


:A large number of studies has shown that there is a positive correlation between urban greenspace and residents' mental health. Urban greenspace is of great significance for improving mental health. However, existing studies mainly use cross-sectional mental health data, and cannot carry out causal analysis of mental health effects of greenspace. In addition, few studies control for the impact of community environment on mental health. Therefore, using a quasi-natural experiment and mixed-effect difference-in-differences model, this study explored the impact of urban greenspace intervention on residents' mental health by taking the East Lake Greenway in Wuhan City as an example. The results show that before and after the East Lake Greenway intervention, the mental health status of the residents in the experimental group increased significantly while the control group did not experience significant change. After controlling for the individual and community environments and other factors affecting mental health, the result indicates that the greenway intervention does promote the mental health of the surrounding residents. Finally, to effectively promote the development of mental health of urban residents, this article proposed that urban planners should build an integrated greenspace network to increase the accessibility of greenspace, optimize public transportation, and improve the social cohesion of communities.

Key words: urban greenspace, greenway, mental health, causal relationship, quasi-natural experiments, Wuhan City