Children living in greener urban neighbourhoods may have better spatial working memory, according to a study. Spatial working memory is responsible for recording information about one’s environment, said researchers from University College London in the UK.

It is strongly inter-related with attentional control, according to the study published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology.

In the study of 4,758 11-year-olds living in urban areas in England, lower quantity of neighbourhood greenspace was related to poorer spatial working memory.

This relationship held in both deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods.

“Our findings suggest a positive role of green space in cognitive functioning,” said Eirini Flouri from University College London.

“Spatial working memory is an important cognitive ability that is strongly related with academic achievement in children, particularly mathematics performance,” Flouri said.

“If the association we established between neighbourhood greenspace and children’s spatial working memory is causal, then our findings can be used to inform decisions about both education and urban planning,” Flouri added.