URBAN FORESTRY COULD IMPROVE DEPRESSIVE PHENOMENA

Wednesday, 24th february 2021 | Environment
Marco Arezio - Consulente materie plastiche - Urban Forestry Could Improve Depressive Phenomena

Until the period prior to the industrial revolution, which can be placed in England in the second half of the 18th century and, even more, in the second industrial revolution at the end of the 19th century, with the arrival of chemical discoveries, the relationship that man had with nature was one of complicity and symbiosis.

Man exploited the earth for his own sustenance but did not cause such serious damage as not to allow the environment to regenerate itself independently, creating a balance between anthropogenic actions and natural consistency.

Nowadays, very little is left of that relationship because very little is left of the natural environment and man has become accustomed to living in environments that have very little naturalness. Cemented cities, with few green areas, where there are no flowers, perfumes and animals that could make us remember where we come from.

Some cities are getting bigger and more populated, where people live in dormitory agglomerations, where they try to survive through job opportunities than in external areas they do not allow to do so.

But even in cities defined as rich, of the first world, wealth is divided in a completely "antisocial" way, creating groups of people who survive and others who have had more luck or opportunity.

Life in these areas, especially in those with a higher population density and with very unequal incomes, creates tensions, fears, anxieties, insecurity which often results in in more or less severe forms of depression.

In Leipzig, Germany, they studied the phenomenon of urban depression in relation to the presence of greenery, therefore the planting density of inhabited areas.

In a study, done on 9751 citizens, we tried to understand if there was a connection between the presence of trees and the quantity of psychotropic drugs used for the treatment depression compared to other areas where forestation was absent or less.

It has been seen, crossing the statistics of the prescriptions of anxiolytics and antidepressants to the inhabitants taken into consideration, that the presence of tall trees and foliage along the roads and close to homes, it coincided with less use of mental health drugs in that area.

Coincidence? Maybe, but there is another data that could refute this thesis, in fact, by controlling other risk factors for mental health such as job loss, sexual problems, weight and economic age, it has been seen that the areas with more or less presence of trees did not influence these factors.

It was also discovered that different tree species did not benefit the phenomenon in any way, so it was impossible to raise one plant better than the other for this purpose.

Obviously it is not a scientific study, also because many depressed people do not take drugs, so they escape the statistics, but it certainly shows that the intense vegetation in the cities and the presence of birds, improves the mood of the inhabitants.

We also remember that trees in the city reduce the heat that buildings can store when exposed to the sun, helping to make the environment cooler, absorb the carbon dioxide in the air and reduce dust.

Automatic translation. We apologize for any inaccuracies. Original article in Italian.


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