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.

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."

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.”

“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."

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."

“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."

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."

“If we’re going to build, let’s build green,” says David Suzuki

"We shouldn’t lose sight of less-expensive and longer-lasting solutions to many of our infrastructure needs, like planting trees in urban areas for stormwater management and other services," wrote David Suzuki. "Adding 10 trees to a block can produce health benefits equivalent to a $10,000 salary raise or being seven years younger. Despite their enormous value to society, urban forest canopies are stressed and in decline in many parts of the country."