Find a Green Space and Make a Friend

Outdoor Colors Increase Trust and Happiness




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Integrating green spaces among living areas increases trust among strangers, according to a study from Canada’s University of Waterloo. Participants in walking tours of a Vancouver neighborhood were asked to complete a smartphone questionnaire at six stops, including at a rainbow-painted crosswalk and both wild and manicured community gardens. Researchers found that colorful design elements and green spaces were linked to higher levels of happiness, plus greater trust of strangers and environmental stewardship. “The urban design interventions we studied are relatively simple and low cost, but show great potential to improve individuals’ emotional and social lives,” says Hanna Negami, lead author.


This article appears in the June 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

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