Is green space exposure beneficial in a developing country?

Aji Kusumaning Asri, Hsiao Yun Lee, Wen Chi Pan, Hui Ju Tsai, Hao Ting Chang, Shih Chun Candice Lung, Huey Jen Su, Chia Pin Yu, John S. Ji, Chih Da Wu, John D. Spengler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Previous studies have confirmed the beneficial effects of green space exposure on depressive disorders, but the majority of them were conducted in developed countries. Given the difference in utilization of green spaces in countries with agriculturally heavy economies such as Indonesia, the effects of green space remain unknown. This study aimed to investigate the association between green space exposure and depressive disorders, focusing on Indonesia. Depressive disorders data provided by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation was used. Exposure to the green space was based on the normalized difference vegetation index (MODIS-NDVI) and green land-cover data provided by the Geospatial Information Agency of Indonesia. A generalized additive mixed model was conducted, followed by a sensitivity test and positive-negative control analysis, to evaluate the association. Stratified analysis was employed to assess the effects of green space on depressive disorders in areas with different levels of urbanization. Exposure to green space significantly reduced the risk of depressive disorders by up to 5% per interquartile unit increment of NDVI. Moreover, there was a 12.4% reduced risk of depressive disorders coinciding with an 8.4% increase in the proportion of forest and total vegetation. In high-urbanization areas, the results of sensitivity analysis illustrated that green spaces reduced the risk of depressive disorders by 10%. Exposure to green spaces was confirmed to be associated with a reduced risk of depressive disorders in Indonesia. Findings of this ecological study could serve as references for urban planning, considering the health benefits of green spaces in developing countries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104226
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology
  • Urban Studies
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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