Green Spaces, Health and Wellbeing: An Exploratory Analysis of Green Space Provision and Quality in Edinburgh, Scotland.
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Green spaces have been identified as one of the many environmental factors that have an influence over population health in the UK (Richardson et al., 2009). In Scotland, green spaces are seen as integral to the implementation of Scottish health policies focused on physical activity, for example, “Let’s Make Scotland More Active” (Physical Activity Task Force 2003). Methods such as those use GIS can play an integral role in the understanding of current provision of green spaces and potential areas for improvement through spatial analysis. Studies have used a variety of measures and methodological approaches when assessing the relationship between neighbourhood environments, green spaces and health. In addition to the above, many studies call for greater attention to be paid to the importance quality. The focus of this study was to meet this lack of research into quality and health deprivation through an exploratory analysis of green space provision and quality in Edinburgh, within the overarching hypothesis that green spaces will have a positive effect on health in Edinburgh. A park quality assessment tool and model were developed and used in Edinburgh and the results indicated that park quality may give better indication as to the nature of the relationship between green spaces and health.