Articles on Green space

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Stony Creek drain: untidy and often slightly threatening, informal green space still has value for residents, which appropriate intervention can enhance.

How do we turn a drain into valued green space? First, ask the residents

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

Can virtual nature and poo transplants solve city dwellers’ health problems?

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

How Melbourne’s west was greened

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. Ruben Schade/flickr

We’re investing heavily in urban greening, so how are our cities doing?

A new study shows major Australian cities are suffering an overall loss of green space – although some areas are doing better than others.
A drain carries water but does little else, but imagine how different the neighbourhood would be if the drain could be transformed into a living stream. Zoe Myers

More than just drains: recreating living streams through the suburbs

Drains take up precious but inaccessible open space in our cities. Converting these to living streams running through the suburbs could make for healthier places in multiple ways.
Generic plotting of ‘green space’ on an urban plan does not target mental wellbeing unless it is designed to engage us with the sights, sounds and smells of nature. Zoe Myers

Green for wellbeing – science tells us how to design urban spaces that heal us

Successful parks and urban green spaces encourage us to linger, to rest, to walk for longer. That, in turn, provides the time to maximise the restorative mental benefits.
Green space, easily accessible to everyone no matter what their income, should be a priority in designing high-density residential areas. Marcus Jaaske from www.shutterstock.com

What’s equity got to do with health in a higher-density city?

Being crowded into poor-quality high-density units harms residents' health, but design features that are known to promote wellbeing can make a big difference to the lives of low-income households.
Providing green space can deliver health, social and environmental benefits for all urban residents – few other public health interventions can achieve all of this. Anne Cleary

Green space – how much is enough, and what’s the best way to deliver it?

Urban green spaces are most effective at delivering their full range of health, social and environmental benefits when physical improvement of the space is coupled with social engagement.
St Canice’s rooftop garden, where a horticultural therapy program demonstrated its benefits for mental health and wellbeing.

Biophilic urbanism: how rooftop gardening soothes souls

In a world of increasing urbanisation, density, pressure and, some say, isolation, there's a natural salve for stress, pressure and mental illness. And it’s right above our heads.
Whether it’s pressures of space or a warmer climate, which is affecting Melbourne’s elms, urban greening must respond to the challenges of 21st-century urban living. Joe Castro/AAP

Higher-density cities need greening to stay healthy and liveable

Greening cities that are becoming denser is a major challenge. City-dwellers' health benefits from both well-designed green spaces and urban density, so we must manage the tensions between them.
Simple features, like a thoughtfully sited bench, can make a big difference to older people’s ability to enjoy public spaces in the city. alexkich from www.shutterstock.com

Contested spaces: we need to see public space through older eyes too

Several key aspects of public open space can encourage older people to get out and about. And badly designed and maintained facilities have the opposite effect and can harm their wellbeing.
Upper Coomera is one of those fast-growing fringe suburbs that are hotter because of tightly packed housing with less greenery. Daryl Jones/www.ozaerial.com.au/

Out in the heat: why poorer suburbs are more at risk in warming cities

Recently published research has found that the concentration of poorer people in hotter places is a real problem for cities' capacity to cope with climate change.
Greening Manhattan: bringing nature into the city is one thing, making it part of our culture and everyday lives is another. Alyson Hurt/flickr

Why ‘green cities’ need to become a deeply lived experience

The rise of urban greening is an opportunity to recast the relationship between people and environment. Humans and non-human species are ecologically intertwined as inhabitants of cities.
Planting trees can make cities more desirable and safer places to live in. Joe Castro/AAP.

Greening cities makes for safer neighbourhoods

Not only do healthy, well-maintained trees provide shade and benefit the ecosystem, they can have a meaningful social impact: people in newly greened neighbourhoods start to look out for each other.

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