Mayors and community leaders have traditionally focused their efforts at building and maintaining infrastructure, implementing new programs, and working with residents to improve the quality of life for city dwellers. So often, these improvements are complex, but from time to time, simple solutions prove to be most effective.
One such example is highlighted by a recent study, finding that simply bringing nature back into the city can have some remarkable effects. These include decreasing stress levels for residents and workers, who report feeling happier and healthier as a consequence of more parks and green spaces.
But that’s not all. In some major world cities, where greening is already underway, mayors and city leaders are discovering some unintended economic benefits. In Melbourne, for instance, city leaders report that urban greening supports the city’s economy, “providing cooling and amenity which supports the pedestrian economy and reduces operating costs for local businesses."
Green spaces benefit the economy, the lives of residents and families, health, and the climate—and should be part of every mayor’s climate action plan. Simple and effective climate and city solutions like this are also a political winner. Expand your climate action toolkit by checking out the great resources at Path to Positive Communities!
Greener cities the key to happier, healthier, stress-free lives
By Alana Schetzer | The Age | January 26, 2016
People are biologically wired to need to be close to nature, with more green open spaces and roof gardens needed to support their wellbeing, a new study says.
A lack of access to greenery could play a role in stress and overall poor health, with experts calling on architects and urban planners to provide more green, open spaces in built-up areas.
Curtin University professor Peter Newman, author of the paper Biophilic Architecture: Rationale and Outcomes, said including vegetation as part of building design has been absent in many cities and needs to be given more prominence.
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