Green infrastructure (GI) has long been known to impact human health, and many academics have used past research to argue for the potential importance of GI as a mechanism for maintaining or improving health within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. This scoping review addresses the question: What evidence, if any, have researchers found of a relationship between green infrastructure use and health during the COVID-19 pandemic? Specifically, evaluating the (a) association of GI use with COVID-19 disease outcomes and (b) association of GI use with other health outcomes as impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Twenty-two studies were identified that measured GI use and studied it in relation to health outcomes during the pandemic. The studies were reviewed for the specific measures and types of GI use, level of analysis, specific types of health outcomes, and the conclusions reached with regard to GI use and health. Studies exploring COVID-19-specific health outcomes showed mixed results, while non-COVID health outcomes were more consistently improved through GI use, particularly with regard to improved mental health. While the evidence strongly suggests that GI use has played a protective role in non-COVID-19 physical and mental health during the pandemic, questions remain with regard to possible impacts on COVID transmission and mortality.
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Heckert, M., & Bristowe, A. (2021). Parks and the Pandemic: A Scoping Review of Research on Green Infrastructure Use and Health Outcomes during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(24), 1-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph182413096