Study reveals crucial role of green urban areas in promoting health

BRASILIA. KAZINFORM A recent study conducted by researchers from the Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná highlights the significance of green urban areas for public health. The study found that cities with more green spaces experience fewer hospitalizations for respiratory diseases.

The research, which utilized data from various public institutions, aimed to assess the impact of urban green infrastructure (UGI) on the population's health. UGI includes squares, parks, planned gardens, forest fragments, urban forest reserves, woods, and afforestation, Agencia Brasil reports.

«We conducted a comprehensive analysis of the data, employing data science techniques such as multivariate analysis and pattern analysis. Based on our studies, we have reached a conclusive finding,» said during an interview with Agência Brasil Luciene Pimentel, a civil engineer and professor at the university's Graduate Program in Urban Management, who co-authored the research.

Public policies

This result holds significant importance considering that the World Health Organization (WHO) reports four million annual deaths from respiratory diseases, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease accounting for 40 percent of these cases. «The global community is deeply concerned about this situation,» emphasized Pimentel.

According to the WHO, 99 percent of the world's population is exposed to air that exceeds recommended quality limits, leading to numerous health problems and seven million annual deaths worldwide due to air pollution.

The professor believes that the study's findings can support public policies focused on environmental sustainability and urban health management. By reducing hospitalization rates for respiratory diseases, these policies can lower healthcare costs and decrease work and school absences.

The survey encompassed 397 out of the 399 municipalities in the state of Paraná since two of them had data gaps, with data collected between 2021 and 2022. The results of the study are now being made public.

The research article titled «Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure for Respiratory Health Protection: A Data Science Approach for Paraná, Brazil» has been published in the international scientific journal league MDPI and can be accessed in full at