Category:

Greenspace / Human Health

“Urban foresters, planners and decision-makers need to understand trends in urban forests so they can develop and maintain sufficient levels of tree cover – and the accompanying forest benefits – for current and future generations of citizens,” stated David Nowak, lead author for research undertaken by US Forest Service


The study builds on a finding that was identified by David Nowak and co-author Eric Greenfield in a ground-breaking 2012 study that found 17 out of 20 American cities had experienced significant tree loss. Nowak is worried about what will happen if the trend continues. “If it keeps going down, I think we’re going to be in trouble. Cities will warm up, we might have more pollution, people will be more unhealthy,” he said. There is robust evidence to suggest that trees are good for public health.

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DESIGN WITH NATURE: Top Ten Cities in USA are Integrating Nature & Technology – a new report (2017) by Anil Ahuja, Smart Cities Guru


Smart Cities Guru founder Anil Ahuja has compiled a list of the top U.S. cities — from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles — that have found a way to combine technology and nature. “The challenge is to raise the bar for designing net zero living while enjoying and protecting the natural world. Water, Energy, Health, Equity and Beauty can all be protected and integrated through constructive implementation of technology,” wrote Anil Ahuja.

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GREEN SPACE & HUMAN HEALTH: “Studies show that there is a definite link between mental health and living proximity to parks,” wrote Brian Strahan, mental health activist


In his article, Brian Strahan poses these questions: “What has a crystalline, winding, stream, got to do, with gaining clarity of mind? And what have the sawtooth edges, and linear veins on the leaves of an Alder tree, got to do got to do with someone’s capacity to adhere to societal norms and mores? How much vision is there on the long-term effects of living with more concrete and less space? We need to invest more in urban nature. It will improve mental health.”

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Vision for ‘designing with nature’ in Adelaide, Australia: Create a city that is greener, more comfortable, healthier and more liveable


Stephens Forbes is positive about the availability of great design practices in South Australia. “There are some great landscape architectural practices and garden designers in Adelaide and accordingly some great projects but I’m not seeing this translate into substantial change. Investment in a few major iconic greenspace projects would help build leadership and capacity and prepare Adelaide for the future.”

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“The Sydney Green Grid envisions green infrastructure as a three-dimensional envelope that surrounds, connects and infuses buildings, streets and utilities,” wrote Daniel Bennett, President, Australian Institute of Landscape Architects


“The Sydney Green Grid underscores the value of green and open space as pivotal to the choices we make when promoting economic growth, health and well-being.” wrote Daniel Bennett. “As a network, it will provide links and connections between places, encourage walking and cycling, highlight landscape and heritage, and support local economies. Future investment in parks and recreation will play a vital role in Sydney’s ability to attract business and create jobs.”

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Trees and parks important to health of cities and residents and the environment, says Australian researcher


“An urban forest strategy needs to protect what we’ve got and match up the locations of greatest need, or urban hot spots, and development activity with benefits, costs and risks,” said Lyndal Plant. “The strategy also needs to address the challenges of diminishing space on private land in our growing city and do more to integrate trees into the design and renewal of sites, streets, infrastructure projects, centres and suburbs."

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“Unleash the power of nature to help make cities more resilient, livable,” says Mark Tercek, The Nature Conservancy


As the world’s population grows and as our planet increasingly urbanizes, we need to redefine the relationship between cities and nature. It is no longer enough for us to ‘protect the last great places,’ as we used to say,” wrote Mark Tercek. “Nature can help cities solve some major environmental, social and financial challenges. We don’t just need to preserve nature — we need to create more of it, particularly in cities, so people can benefit from its healing powers.”

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Australia’s Environment Minister says more ‘urban canopies’ will reduce heat within city environments and improve health outcomes


The government would work directly with cities throughout 2016 and 2017 to set decade-by-decade goals for the creation of “urban canopies”, announced Greg Hunt. The creation of tree cover, he stated, would reduce heat within city environments and improve health outcomes. “Our task is to establish those goals and increase them progressively over each of the decades.”

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