Photo by Jeremy Blanchard.

“Parks are a part of our healthcare system,” said Daphne Miller, a professor of family and community medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. These green spaces are crucial to solving hypertension, anxiety, depression, diabetes — “the diseases of indoor living.”

But parks officials and the medical profession still need more data to take aim at the many “naysayers on the other side” who don’t believe in what landscape architects (and many urban residents) value, Miller said. Luckily for all of us, a few scientists are doing innovative research, trying to capture that data.