Residential green space, gardening, and subjective well-being: A cross-sectional study of garden owners in northern Belgium

Jeroen Krols, Raf Aerts, Naomi Vanlessen, Valerie Dewaelheyns, Sébastien Dujardin, Ben Somers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban green spaces and the biodiversity therein have been associated with human health and well-being benefits, but the contribution of domestic gardens to those benefits is insufficiently known. Using data from a cross-sectional sample (n = 587) of domestic garden owners in Flanders and Brussels (northern Belgium), associations between residential green space quality in and around domestic gardens, green space related activities and socioeconomic background variables of the gardeners, and self-reported health (stress and depression) were investigated with structural equation models. Socioeconomic security was associated with lower stress and depression. Nature relatedness and green space in the neighbourhood of the house were associated with higher exposure to green space, which was in turn negatively associated with stress and depression. Garden quality, indicated by biodiversity values and size, and nature relatedness were associated with being active in the garden, which was in turn associated with lower values of depression, but not stress. Nature relatedness seems to play a key role in the pathway linking gardens to improved health. Improving biodiversity and ecosystems services in gardens may increase exposure to green space and help to restore and enhance nature relatedness. This, in turn, could potentially improve human health and well-being, and contribute to the conservation of biodiversity in urban environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104414
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Biodiversity
  • Environmental epidemiology
  • Gardening
  • Human health
  • Mental health
  • Urban green


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