Epidemiology Counts – Episode 32 – Built environment: Green Space

In the second episode on how the built environment of our cities and towns affects our health, we discuss how living near green spaces and natural environments can provide health benefits. The feeling of serenity while immersed in nature and vegetation is a near universal human experience; modern researchers are collecting evidence that it may be protective against health outcomes such as adverse mental health, cardiovascular disease, and mortality. Green spaces can decrease stress, promote physical and social activity, and mitigate air pollution and noise. We discuss how researchers are taking advantage of modern technology and databases to measure greenness using satellite imagery and large land-use databases linked to study participants’ addresses. This episode was a treat for host Bryan James, as he got to interview an expert he knows well: his brother! Peter James is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, as well as the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Also, we officially welcome Ghassan Hamra as the co-host of Epidemiology Counts!