Assessment of green space benefits and burdens for urban health with spatial modeling

B Oosterbroek*, J de Kraker, MMTE Huynen, P Martens, K Verhoeven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We present a new spatial model to quantify and map health-related impacts of urban green space (UGS), with the aim to address major shortcomings of existing models and to meet the needs of urban spatial planners for quantitative, spatially-explicit assessment of both the health benefits and burdens of UGS. This GIS-based model uses publicly available high-resolution geospatial data to estimate street-level values of five major determinants of urban health that are significantly influenced by urban spatial design (including UGS): unattractive views, heat stress, air pollution, perceived unsafety and tick-bite risk. We also describe a potential major application of the model for urban spatial planners, a so-called hotspot analysis for a set of five urban design-related health problems, which can assist in setting spatial priorities in urban greening strategies as well as in designing effective greenspace interventions. Hotspots are areas within a city where urban design-related health problems are the largest. An analysis for Maastricht (The Netherlands) showed that in hotspots UGS was mostly a net burden, but also that redesign of UGS could make its role more beneficial for human health.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128023
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Forestry & Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Ecosystem disservices
  • Ecosystem services
  • GIS
  • Hotspot identification
  • Human health
  • Quantitative assessment
  • Spatial model
  • Urban Green Space


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