Understanding Effect Modifiers of the Relationship Between Health and Exposure to Urban Green and Blue space

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: School of Public Health


Natural environments in urban areas have been associated with healthful behaviours via several pathways - physical activity, areas for social interaction, therapeutic and restorative properties of nature and/or the improvement in local environmental conditions.Despite there being evidence to support natural environments abilities to positively impact health, this relationship has not been found across all analyses. Negative or neutral results may be due to modifiers which were not accounted for in methods. There are many factors that can modify a natural environments ability to provide health benefits, which have not been investigated This includes characteristics of vegetated and built-up space, along with the nearby physical environment, demographic, social and economic factors, how regularly people visit natural environments and for how long, and a person's individual preference and perception. The overall aim of this project is to identify and assess understudied factors that might act as effect modifiers of the relationship between natural environments and health. The specific objectives are to:

1. To conduct a literature review to identify factors which potentially modify the effect of natural environments on health, and develop a corresponding conceptual framework highlighting potential relationships and confounders.
2. To identify appropriate methodologies to determine if and to what degree selected factors modify the effect of natural environments on health
3. To compile geospatial data to characterise natural environments and spatially link to relevant health data, including health surveys, established cohort studies and routinely collected health data.
4. To analyse how selected factors, mediate or modify the association between experiencing natural environments and health.

on attitudes and interest in nature in school children visiting the Centre.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
NE/S007415/1 30/09/2019 29/09/2027
2264828 Studentship NE/S007415/1 30/09/2019 12/10/2023 Richard Belcher