A new report from CABE Space has highlighted the importance of urban parks and green spaces in enhancing people’s health, wellbeing and satisfaction with their local area
Based on an analysis of more than 16,000 publicly owned and managed green spaces, Urban Green Nation was designed to gather evidence that would inform policy development and future investment. The data showed that the historic decline in green spaces has now been reversed, with almost nine out of 10 people using them regularly. As many as 95 per cent of people surveyed thought that it was fairly or very important to have green spaces close to where they live.
However, the report also revealed that the provision and use of green spaces differed considerably among regions. People living in deprived areas and those from multicultural ethnic groups were much less likely to have access to parks than white people living in affluent areas, with the result that they tended to be less satisfied with their local council’s performance. Strong links were also found between the provision of green spaces and the health of local residents: the higher the quality of the green space, the more likely people were to use it, resulting in higher rates of physical activity and better health levels.
High-quality green spaces should be available to people from all ethnic groups and income brackets – and this research provides local authorities with the impetus to adopt a more equitable approach.
Meanwhile, CABE is working with the LI to produce guidance and toolkits to encourage more people to choose a career in landscape architecture. Find out more here.