The more cities grow, the more urban residents need access to enjoy urban forests.
The more our cities grow, the more we need access to enjoy — and be in relationship with — urban forests to maintain our well-being.
In 2014, scientists studying the soil in Central Park were surprised at the vibrancy of the microbial life they discovered.
Roberto Nickson on Unsplash
The earth our towns and cities are built on is teeming with potential. It is under threat too
Access to parks and green space in England's cities is far from equal.
Decades after the Good Friday Agreement, urban space in Belfast is still divided.
Green Park, London.
Politicians are keen to talk up the benefits of parks and other outdoor spaces – but less eager to spend money on their upkeep.
Central Park, New York City, on Memorial Day weekend, May 24, 2020.
Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images
Research that measures the public mood based on Twitter posts shows that it's currently at its lowest point in a decade. One exception: when people visit parks and green spaces.
Finding a washroom during either a pandemic or a protest within a pandemic is an issue about how free and accessible our urban spaces are.
Public washrooms are an essential service and the people who maintain them are essential workers. But what happens when a pandemic closes public bathrooms and a civil rights protest breaks out?
Looking south from New York City’s Central Park.
Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of many great North American city parks, understood that ready access to nature made cities healthier places to live.
Hyde Park, London.
Parks have a vital role to play for both physical and mental wellbeing.
The Ohio City Farm in Cleveland provides low-cost land, shared facilities and technical assistance to support entrepreneurial farmers.
Four out of 5 Americans live in cities, so urban planning can make a big difference in our lifestyles – especially if it promotes healthy diets and physical activity.
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.
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.
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.
Parks are places where children make their own decisions, explore their imaginations and expand their abilities.
Parents are more willing to let children do their own thing in parks. It's a chance for children to make their own decisions, explore their abilities and imaginations, and weigh up risks.
Flooding in Sydney last week was the latest example of Australian cities’ lack of resilience to a more extreme climate.
Australia's coastal settlements are highly exposed to the impacts of climate change. Climate-resilient urban landscapes that can cope with large amounts of water need to become the new normal.
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.
Eurydice Dixon was murdered in a busy Melbourne park - how can we make these spaces safer for women?
DAVID CROSLING/AAP Image
Australia has guidelines for designing safe parks, but the stories of many women show these are not enough. We must involve women in co-designing these shared public spaces.