Underlying relationships between public urban green spaces and social cohesion: A systematic literature review

Calvin Wan, Geoffrey Qiping Shen, Stella Choi

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Research has substantiated the positive role of social cohesion on physical health and psychological well-being, and there is increasing interest in how public urban green spaces (“green spaces” hereafter) promote social cohesion. This review synthesized existing empirical evidence to ascertain the impact of green spaces on social cohesion. 51 published studies met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Physical characteristics, perceptions, and use patterns of green spaces were found directly influencing social cohesion. Findings also suggested that physical characteristics of green spaces intermingle with environmental perceptions and use patterns to further complicate the impact on social cohesion. A model was proposed to conceptualize the complex relationships between green spaces and social cohesion. The review identified current gaps in the literature which futher research is needed. It also informs interventions for promoting public health and well-being by enhancing social cohesion in urban natural environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100383
JournalCity, Culture and Society
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Environmental perceptions
  • Green spaces
  • Physical characteristics
  • Social cohesion
  • Use patterns
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Urban Studies
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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