Neighbourhood Design and Children’s Mental Health

Contrary to mixed results in prior studies, our research, detailed in the 13th International Space Syntax Symposium’s proceedings, shows a significant link between the built environment characteristics and child mental wellbeing. Land-use diversity and greenery within a 5-minute walking distance of dwellings are significantly linked to mental health, with diverse local amenities and natural surroundings enhancing life satisfaction and reducing emotional issues. Furthermore, our findings underline the positive impact of direct street routes between homes and destinations on children’s mental health (i.e., reduced emotional and behavioural difficulties).

At the dwelling level, our findings revealed that residing in a dwelling with a private garden (such as an apartment with a private garden or a gated community with a private playground) was related to lower behavioural difficulties among the children in our sample.

Related Publications

Ozbil Torun, A., Severcan, YC., Defeyter, MA., Bingol, H., Akin, Z. (2023). “Neighbourhood design and identification of objective built environment features supportive of children’s mental wellbeing”, in the proceedings of the 13th Space Syntax Symposium, 20-24 June 2022, Bergen, Norway (

Severcan, YC., Ozbil Torun, A., Defeyter, MA., Akin, Z., Bingol, H. “Environmental Predictors of Children’s Mental Wellbeing in Ankara”, under review.