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Young children, the outdoors and nature
Young children, the outdoors and nature

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2.3 Green spaces

There is also evidence that being in a ‘green space’ has benefits to young children. The term ‘green space’ is used to describe spaces with natural elements. You will look more closely at definitions of natural environments in Session 6. In a study by Bijnens et al. (2020) they describe green spaces as spaces ‘covered partly by grass, trees, or other vegetation, … includ[ing] city parks, community gardens, sports fields, as well as natural and forested areas in rural environments’ (p. 3).

This team were working on part of a longitudinal birth cohort study of twins in Belgium involving 620 children. Their findings suggest that ‘residential green space may be beneficial for the intellectual and the behavioral development of children living in urban areas’ (p. 14). They recommend that policy makers take these findings into consideration when engaging in urban planning to ‘create an optimal environment for children to develop their full potential’ (p. 14).