Articles on Green space

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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. EA Given/Shutterstock

Increasing tree cover may be like a ‘superfood’ for community mental health

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.
Contact with nature reduces stress and aggression, one reason scholars say urban green space may reduce violence. Shutterstock

Can parks help cities fight crime?

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.
Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers. Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

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.
Children’s right to play outdoors depends on them having access to safe and inclusive public spaces.

Putting the pieces together to create safe public spaces for all

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. (Shutterstock)

How your community impacts the health of your heart

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.

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.

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