People living in dense UK cities are more likely to feel lonely

2 months ago 21
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By Elle Hunt


The skyline of Edinburgh, UK

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People who unrecorded successful dense municipality areas, peculiarly those with intimately packed apartments, are much apt to acquisition loneliness and isolation, a large-scale survey of UK cities has found.

Chris Webster astatine the University of Hong Kong and his colleagues analysed wellness information from astir 406,000 radical successful 22 UK cities held by the UK Biobank and compared it with elaborate information of their environment, specified arsenic their proximity to engaged roads and greenish spaces.

The squad recovered that people’s self-reported loneliness accrued by 2.8 per cent for each further 1000 lodging units wrong 1 kilometre of their home, portion their self-reported societal isolation accrued by 11.4 per cent. The researchers controlled for factors including age, wellness and socioeconomic status, uncovering that the effects were much pronounced successful men and retirees.

Compared with their counterparts surviving successful the lowest residential densities, men successful the highest densities were 23.5 per cent much apt to study loneliness, portion retirees successful areas with the densest lodging were 17.4 per cent much apt to bash so.

“Our survey suggests that loneliness is not lone inactive prevalent successful 21st-century cities, but is truthful endemic that we tin observe a regular signifier and measurement it,” says Webster.

The squad besides looked astatine intelligence wellness impacts by lodging benignant and recovered that radical surviving adjacent a higher density of detached lodging were little apt to acquisition loneliness and societal isolation. A higher density of apartments, connected the different hand, was linked to an summation successful these factors, which the researchers suggest could beryllium owed to a deficiency of privateness and control, producing societal stress.

They accidental the findings show the request for municipality plan and density readying to beryllium factored into strategies to tackle loneliness and associated chronic conditions.

“Housing is the basal gathering artifact of a city, and the mode they are packed whitethorn beryllium 1 of the keys to creating steadfast and resilient cities of the future,” says squad subordinate Chinmoy Sarkar, besides astatine the University of Hong Kong.

Journal reference: Landscape and Urban Planning, DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2021.104194

Need a listening ear?  UK Samaritans: 116 123; US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 800 273 8255; hotlines successful different countries.

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