The lure of suburbia clearly remains strong. To deal with sprawl, planners need to increase urban density in a way that resonates with the leafy green qualities of suburbia that residents value.
Residents of the 'leafy suburbs' will continue to fear what they might lose to increasing urban density without an explicit planning approach that enhances green space in affected neighbourhoods.
Even the standard grassed nature strip has value for local wildlife.
When so much of the green space in our cities is in the form of nature strips, current restrictions on plantings are denying us the many social and environmental benefits of more diverse greenery.
Sea Line Park, one of the shortlisted entries in the competition to design a new park for the Melbourne of 2050.
Future Park Design Ideas Competition
Some might scoff at the free-ranging ideas sparked by a competition to design future parks for Melbourne. But the legacy of a radical idea to green a CBD street in 1985 shows why we need such thinking.
On Akure’s edges, which used to be mainly farmland, buildings are taking over.
City officials have not considered how approaches like mixed-use developments closer to the city centre might alleviate the housing shortage as well as protect Akure's green spaces.
Hampstead Heath, London.
The UK's surviving urban commons are precious green spaces, but the laws that protect them are confusing, complicated and in some cases outdated.
Imagine Hyde Park in Sydney without its tree cover … the impact on this space and the many people who spend time in it would be profound.
Cities around Australia have plans to increase their green space, but new research shows not all green spaces are equal. Good tree cover is better than grassed areas for residents' mental health.
Living near green spaces is associated with better cognition.
Some previous research suggests people living in rural areas may be at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. But these results tell a different story.
Contact with nature reduces stress and aggression, one reason scholars say urban green space may reduce violence.
Some parks reduce violence in the local vicinity. Other parks attract crime. The difference has to do with how these urban green spaces are designed, programmed and managed, experts say.
Koalas can adapt to urban areas with enough suitable green spaces but would benefit from wildlife crossing areas to reduce their risk of being hit by cars.
Koalas can cope with the stresses of city life provided we plan urban developments in ways that help meet their basic needs.
Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland National Park, UK.
Approximately 50% of the UK's poorest people live over 15 miles from a national park and most people require transport to get to them.
Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers.
Research shows that access to urban green space makes people and neighborhoods healthier. But parks can't work their magic if their design ignores the needs of nearby communities.
Filipe Frazao / Shutterstock.com
Green spaces can help to address loneliness. But they are highly vulnerable to austerity.
Noise pollution is usually associated with aeroplanes flying overhead, not happy children.
Parks should service a variety of needs, not just cater to one group of people.
Historic investments in green open space along the Yarra created a legacy of liveability in Melbourne.
Australian cities are experiencing the third big wave of growth in their history. The response in the past was planning and investment in green infrastructure, and it's time to do the same again.
Children’s right to play outdoors depends on them having access to safe and inclusive public spaces.
For a public space to be seen as safe, welcoming and accessible, a diverse range of people need to actively use it. That's why any space-changing project needs to engage broadly with the community.
The presence of sidewalks, green space, healthy food outlets, and trustworthy neighbours can all play a part in minimizing your risks of heart disease.
As 'Heart Month' kicks off across North America, a cardiovascular researcher explains how the neighbourhood you live in can affect your risks of heart disease.
Stony Creek drain: untidy and often slightly threatening, informal green space still has value for residents, which appropriate intervention can enhance.
Residents often have concerns about informal green space but some still use it. Work to enhance these areas should aim to resolve these concerns without destroying what residents do value.
It’s now possible to experience virtual walks through nature – like this video, for example – but can that ever match the real thing?
Video screenshot, sounds from the core/YouTube
Faecal transplants and virtual nature are technological solutions to ‘nature deficit disorder’ from urban living. Such 'quick fixes' offer some benefits, but are no substitute for the real thing.
The Greening the Pipeline 100-metre pilot park at Williams Landing is the first step in transforming 27 kilometres of the heritage-listed main outfall sewer into a linear park and bike track.
Greening the Pipeline, courtesy of Melbourne Water
Tree plantings are making a visible difference to Melbourne’s west. It's the result of a collaborative model of greening, one that Australian cities need to apply more widely.
Perth has long had many fine parks but is losing vegetation cover in a band of increasingly dense development across the city.
A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space –
although some areas are doing better than others.