A new study has found that growing up in a greener urban environment boosts children's intelligence and lowers levels of difficult behaviour.

The study of more than 600 children in Belgium aged 10-15 showed a 3% increase in the greenness of their neighbourhood raised their IQ score by an average of 2.6 points. The effect was seen in both richer and poorer areas.

There is already significant evidence that green spaces improve various aspects of children’s cognitive development but this is the first research to examine IQ. The cause is uncertain but may be linked to lower stress levels, more play and social contact or a quieter environment.

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