First Advisor

Richard Dozal-Lockwood

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Health Studies: Community Health Education and University Honors


Health Studies




Land use, Urban -- Psychological aspects, Environmental justice, Public health




Using existing literature as a basis for initial review, this paper seeks to explore the relationship between urban land use and socioeconomic status as both pertain to the prevalence of psychological health diagnoses among neighborhood residents. The purpose of this analysis is to investigate the combined literature from multiple areas of research in order to gain a more holistic, up-to-date scope of knowledge regarding how discriminatory neighborhood land use may result in poorer psychological health outcomes for urban populations. By utilizing an interdisciplinary approach, some of the locally relevant, long-term impacts of uneven development and environmental injustice are examined based on how they synergistically contribute to psychological health outcomes. Frameworks of health ecology, urban political ecology, environmental justice, and social epidemiology provide a theoretical lens of assessment for impacts of various indicators on neighborhood health. The quality and quantity of accessible neighborhood green space is found to relate to differences in psychological well-being between neighborhoods of varying SES, with the prevalence of high-quality urban forests corresponding to a decline in negative outcomes and complaints regarding mental health. This suggests that urban greening may be an effective means of combating the growing problem of global psychological distress, as well as improving urban biodiversity. An essential guiding question of this review relates to how these frameworks may be applied in ways that support more equitable neighborhood health outcomes in cities like Portland, OR.


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