Research Brief

The Bayou Greenway Study: Living close to Urban Green Space improves your Health

Publication Date:


The purpose of this study was to examine the health benefits of the Bayou Greenway trail system in Houston by tracking patterns and changes in hospital visits.


Residents living in zip codes with a greenway trail access point had a lower likelihood of being admitted to the hospital for certain health conditions compared to those living in zip codes without greenway trail access. Heart disease, heart attack and obesity related hospital admissions are significantly lower in neighborhoods with greenway trail access in Houston. Reductions in hospital admission rates range from 71% to 93%!

Overall Impact

  • Living within a 10 minute walk to an urban trail can lead to better health
  • Living within a zip code with access to an urban trail can lead to better health outcomes and less hospital visits long-term
  • These findings can guide community leaders to develop healthier neighborhoods and communities for all