February 27, 2019
What year is this?
Research supports the idea that humans are better off when not forced to live their lives in hideous artificial settings.
Growing up in the countryside may protect your mental health as an adult, research suggests.
A study of nearly a million Danes found youngsters who live in green spaces are up to 55 per cent less likely to develop a mental-health disorder in later life.
Green spaces help create sociable communities, as well as encouraging people to exercise, the researchers believe.
This then improves a child’s cognitive development, which may positively impact their mental health.
The research was carried out by Aarhus University in Denmark and led by Dr Kristine Engemann, from the department of bioscience.
The researchers used satellite data collected between 1985 and 2013 to assess the green space around the childhood homes of almost one million Danes.
This data was then compared against the risk of developing one of 16 different mental disorders later in life, including schizophrenia, anorexia and depression.
Results – published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences -revealed people who grew up surrounded by lots of green space were less at risk of a mental-health disorder.
This remained true even after adjusting for socioeconomic status, urbanisation and a family history of mental-health problems.
Noise, air pollution, infections and poor socioeconomic conditions increase the risk of a mental disorder, according to the study.
The researchers are calling on city planners to design greener cities to improve the public’s mental health.
Cities used to be better, you know? These things we have now that are full of lifeless buildings and mechanical sounds don’t really look like the homes of people. They look like computer chips.
Cities used to reflect the creative spirit of their people. They used to represent the notions of beauty of their people.
If cities today are still doing that… then what are they saying about our spirit and about our notions of beauty?
We live in the Era of the Monstrous Rectangles.
Even if they don’t call it “Brutalism,” all of our architecture follows the ideology of Brutalism. And our modern urban existence is certainly brutal.
People are drowned by the sepulchral gray of the streets. The moment they step out of their homes is the moment they’re exposed to the soul-crushing weight of the concrete that reminds them that they’re just another corpse in the mausoleum.
Modern cities are not homes. They are tombs.
But they don’t have to be.
We could have it better.
Cement hasn’t taken over everything yet.
If you live in the city, go to the parks. Breathe close to a tree. Watch the green. Feel the grass in your hands, and maybe take off your shoes and feel with your feet too.
Go back to nature.