The current review aimed to explore the association between urban greenspaces and health indicators. In particular, our aims were to analyze the association between publicly accessible urban greenspaces exposure and two selected health outcomes (objectively measured physical activity (PA) and mental health outcomes (MH)).
Two electronic databases—PubMed/Medline and Excerpta Medica dataBASE (EMBASE)—were searched from 1 January 2000 to 30 September 2020. Only articles in English were considered. Out of 356 retrieved articles, a total of 34 papers were included in our review. Of those, 15 assessed the association between urban greenspace and PA and 19 dealt with MH.
Almost all the included studies found a positive association between urban greenspace and both PA and MH, while a few demonstrated a non-effect or a negative effect on MH outcomes. However, only guaranteeing access is not enough. Indeed, important elements are maintenance, renovation, closeness to residential areas, planning of interactive activities, and perceived security aspects.
Overall, despite some methodological limitations of the included studies, the results have shown almost univocally that urban greenspaces harbour potentially beneficial effects on physical and mental health and well-being.