Merrick Denton-Thompson, President of the Landscape Institute, said:
‘I am particularly pleased that the Communities and Local Government Select Committee in its Inquiry into parks will ask questions on the contribution of parks to the health and well-being of communities.
‘The Landscape Institute has long campaigned that public health outcomes can be improved through good landscape planning and design. Many of our members have worked on Heritage Lottery Funded restorations and designs for new parks. The provision of a network of high quality multi-purpose green spaces improves air and water quality in addition to amenity in general. They are restorative, uplifting and healing for both physical and mental health conditions as research continues to show.
‘Quality green infrastructure helps society tackle a range of other critical issues from species loss, to social cohesion and climate-change mitigation and adaptation. These issues are more acute than ever, but continuing budget cuts over many years and changes in planning policy have meant the downgrading of the requirement to put in place quality landscape for green spaces and parks. Quality is being eroded.
‘All new developments should consider the need for new green infrastructure and improvements to existing spaces with adequate consideration to its maintenance and management. Today many local authority planners and green space officers will tell you that this is not a priority in their borough. We should be smarter with our resources, recognising that capital expenditure should go hand in hand with provision for revenue expenditure.’