Articles on open 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.
Parks are places where children make their own decisions, explore their imaginations and expand their abilities. Daxiao Productions/Shutterstock

Why suburban parks offer an antidote to helicopter parenting

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.
Being in a park tends to make people feel more positive, although the time of day and the season also affect their moods. leungchopan/Shutterstock

Tweet all about it – people in parks feel more positive

The positive mood of tweets varies with time of day and season, but it's consistently higher in parks than in built-up areas, where people are more likely to express anger and fears.
Overflowing bins are one way to spoil the amenity of public space, but sensors can now alert councils when bins need emptying. Wikimedia

Sensors in public spaces can help create cities that are both smart and sociable

Researchers are installing sensors to collect data about the use of public spaces. This can improve the management and public amenity of these places, but will users see the technology as intrusive?
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.
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.
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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