Review of the relationship between urban greenspace accessibility and human well-being

Xingyue Tu, Ganlin Huang, Jianguo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Urban greenspace (UGS) provides residents with various ecosystem services, which contribute to improving the quality of life and health of urban residents. Therefore, UGS plays an important role in urban livability and sustainability. We reviewed studies of UGS accessibility and the effects of UGS on the well-being of urban residents, focusing on the methods for evaluating UGS accessibility, major findings on the relationship between UGS accessibility and residents' PGS use, health, and socioeconomic status, and evaluations of greenspace provisioning in terms of meeting the demand of residents. We found that the major approaches for estimating UGS accessibility include methods based on administrative or census units, distance to the nearest UGS, service area, and gravity-based models. Numerous studies have confirmed the positive relations between accessibility of UGS and its use by residents and its effect on human health. However, the spatial distributions of UGS across a city, especially the urban-suburban gradient, are often uneven. Some studies have found that socioeconomically disadvantaged residents have a lower UGS accessibility, but this finding does not necessarily hold true across the world. We then put forward several suggestions to improve these studies. Future research should quantify the characteristics of UGS, including biodiversity and landscape patterns, and investigate the effects of these factors on the well-being of residents. Studies should include other types of UGS besides parks, and other aspects of human well-being besides health. Numerous case studies should be undertaken in different regions and at different scales to enable comparisons between different socioeconomic and cultural context. Longitudinal studies based on multi-temporal UGS patterns and cohort studies witll provide insights into the dynamic relationship between UGS and the well-being of residents. Furthermore, such studies will clarify how socioeconomic processes affect this relationship, which will support urban planning and management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-431
Number of pages11
JournalShengtai Xuebao/ Acta Ecologica Sinica
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2019


  • Accessibility
  • Human well-being
  • Landscape pattern
  • Resident health
  • Urban greenspace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology


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