Exploring the Impacts of Living in a “Green” City on Individual BMI: A Study of Lingang New Town in Shanghai, China

Tingting Lu, Matthew Lane, Dan Van Der Horst, Xin Liang, Jianing Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Urban planning and design in the 21st century is increasingly focusing on sustainability, illustrated by the proliferation of greener cities. While operational definitions and the actual planning of these cities can vary considerably (e.g., eco cities and low carbon cities), conceptually, at least, these terms overlap, particularly with regard to how they attempt to achieve both greener infrastructural design and healthier human lifestyles. This paper presents the findings of survey-based research carried out within Lingang New Town in Shanghai in 2019. In the cities of the Global North, the interplay between green infrastructural provision and public health has been of interest, especially in the context of social inequalities; however, there is little research from rapidly urbanizing countries where green urbanism is being increasingly promoted. Using this newly constructed example, we identified a clear positive correlation between moving to a green city and the adoption of healthier lifestyles. The structural equation modelling results suggest that behaviors around the use of green space as well as perceptions of different green space have notable impacts on residents’ physical health, measured by body mass index (BMI). The findings further illustrate systemic inequalities among private housing, rental housing and public housing typologies with regard to the distribution of health benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7105
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2020


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