The Importance Of Multi-Purpose Urban Green Spaces

Often, living in a city can isolate you from nature. You may not have access to a yard and your daily commute may only involve an endless sea of concrete.

Many people simply accept this and cease having any daily connection with nature. However, research shows that spending time regularly in the great outdoors is a critical part of wellness.

The World Health Organization reports that urban green spaces play an important role in cooling cities along with providing recreational and social opportunities. In fact, a lack of physical inactivity, linked to poor walkability and lack of access to recreational areas, accounts for 3.3% of global deaths. They even have a positive impact on the treatment of mental illnesses such as depression.

Where To Go To Find Urban Green Spaces

Urban green spaces are urban dwellers’ backyard playgrounds. More and more neighborhoods and housing complexes are including green spaces due to recognizing their role in fostering a well-functioning society. Look around your community for:

  • Parks
  • Sports fields
  • Walking trails
  • Butterfly gardens
  • Wellness/meditation gardens

Now it’s crucial for “livable” cities to have adequate green spaces for residents. Far beyond mere tourist attractions, these green spaces are part of a new view of parks that focuses on their role as a component of positive urban policy, creating job opportunities, enhancing public health, and building communities. Along with proper sanitation, public transit services, and affordable housing, urban green spaces are an important part of making cities work for residents.

Cities are even showing off their green spaces to tourists. Many cities now have a number of walking tours that let tourists explore the city on their own two feet, rather than being isolated on a bus.

Beyond this, urban green spaces have a variety of environmental benefits. They combat global climate change by releasing oxygen into the air and absorbing carbon dioxide. They provide transport links making it easier for residents to commute by bicycle or on foot to work. They also are natural habitats for numerous species that might not otherwise find a spot to live in cities. Surprising benefits in storm water management are also possible, with some cities saving millions of dollars as they deal with less excess runoff.

If you want to learn more about urban green spaces, we’re here to help. We are driven by curiosity and stay up to date on the latest pedagogical techniques in outdoor education. We’re experienced in communicating knowledge and understanding of nature to diverse audiences because we believe this is key to developing a sustainable society.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with everything from environmental education to feasibility studies. We’re leaders in everything from promoting urban green spaces to sustainability and conservation.

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By |2017-09-12T11:22:28+00:00September 12th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Environment|Tags: , , , |

About the Author:

Dr. Leanne J Philip, BSc. (Hon.); MSc.; PhD. is the Managing Director & Chief Scientist of Soil Advocates Inc. She studied at the University of Guelph as an undergraduate (Plant Biology, Environmental Management and Urban Horticulture) and as a graduate student (Plant & Soil Interactions). She has a keen interest in soil sciences, which lead her to the University of British Columbia in Vancouver for doctoral studies in soil carbon sequestration and movement within British Columbia’s clear-cut soils. Further work in soil sciences in Europe and Canada reinforced Dr. Philip’s belief that soil processes and mechanisms belowground drive aboveground aesthetics and plant interactions. While active in both research, mentorship and teaching, most recently Dr. Philip has been working in applied soil sciences in industry and community outreach. Dr. Philip is a native of southern Ontario and is a strong advocate for scientific literacy within her community and responsible environmental stewardship.

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