The Central Experimental Farm is a pastoral oasis in the middle of a bustling city, as well as a popular cycling route — but you don’t need to hop on a bike to reap the farm’s benefits.
That’s according to a new study from Carleton University, which suggests that just living near the farm has been shown to boost health.
The four square kilometres of protected land, nestled near Prince of Wales Drive and Carling Avenue, was shown to improve air quality, reduce pollution and lower temperatures in the surrounding area.
“[It’s] because of the large amount of greenness,” said Paul Villeneuve, a professor working on the study.
Health science graduate students at the school have been wandering the city, measuring pollution using monitors from Health Canada.
Small distance, big impact
“We’re able to create surface maps of air pollution and noise and see how these spaces change,” Villeneuve said.
Coordinating with other research facilities, the group overlays their findings with other data to map out health trends based on geographic location.
Living within a few kilometres of the green space makes a difference, Villeneuve added.
“If you’re closer to the centre of the farm, there’s almost a three degree temperature difference [from the city].”
Researchers working on the project have more sampling to do, including testing in the summer, but Villeneuve said there are takeaways already.
“It’s important for people to be aware of the impact that vegetation and greenness has on urban health.”