What is the 3-30-300 rule in the city, which promises to make you happier every day?

What is the 3-30-300 rule in the city, which promises to make you happier every day?

According to a study and several on-site experiments, the place of greenery in the city would be a guarantee of happier lives and daily well-being. But one rule in particular would have even more pronounced effects. Can you apply it at home?

Surrounding yourself with green plants, having an outdoor space, or a nearby park… Unsurprisingly, these are elements that brighten up everyday life and allow you to breathe a little easier when you live in the city. But according to a theory of “urban forestry” that comes to us from the Netherlands, one provision in particular would be beneficial to all residents.

Greenery on three different scales

This is a rule invented by researcher Cecil Konijnendijk, called the 3-30-300 rule. That’s to say :

  • That each resident can see 3 trees from their home or workplace;
  • That his neighborhood contains at least 30% canopy;
  • Let everyone live approximately 300 meters from a park or garden.

In this three-level distribution lies a reflection: how to fairly distribute vegetation in a city, so that everyone benefits from it and can feel its effects. A reflection which concerns more and more cities, such as Nantes in Europe which is currently implementing a policy of protecting existing trees, as well as the integration of new plantations throughout the city while involving citizens in planting too.

Good in his body, good in his head!

Scientifically proven effects on mental health

Reforesting cities, and providing more greenery to cover the concrete, is however not a whim. In a study dating from December 2022 on 3,000 residents of Barcelona, ​​Spanish researchers demonstrated that this precise distribution induces real effects: residents who benefit from it live better and statistically show better mental health. They would also be less likely to take medication or require a psychologist.

That’s not all. The method would also be interesting to combat heat islands as the temperature tends to rise, which is validated by Clément Gaillard, founder of the Freio design office, specializing in climate design, in the 20 minutes lines.

“The development of smaller planted spaces rather than large woods, often on the outskirts of cities, will make it possible to better distribute shady places to take refuge in times of overheating. In terms of lower temperatures, on the other hand, studies speak with a gain of only 0.4°C, on this level, we will not be able to achieve a miracle.

Two excellent reasons to green up our cities more.

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