Going Green: How Open Spaces in Cities Benefit Everyone

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Robison Wells
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The world’s cities are continuing to grow at a rapid rate, and the importance of land use planning is becoming more and more crucial. Cities are comprised of more than just buildings and people. Many cities are also known for their use of open space or “green space.” Urban open space is land that can range from playing fields to highly maintained environments to relatively natural land spaces.

Although it might not be noticeable, open space in an urban environment provides many advantages. These spaces provide preservations of natural environments, a place for people to go for relaxation or recreation and much more. The concept of urban planning is relatively new and arose from concerns for health and maintaining wellbeing through advertising diseases and illnesses associated with overcrowding, poor sanitation and exposure to environmental pollution.  

“Successful public places around the world are successful not just because of the design but also because of the management. That’s not just cutting the grass and picking up the garbage. The bigger part of management is how to involved the community in the parks. We need to think of parks more as outdoor community center where we need to invest in uses and activities so they can fulfill their potential. When we improve parks, we’re really improving quality of life.” said Gil Penalosa, director of Canadian organization 8-80 (https://bit.ly/2QIXRIG).

When constructing and designing new cities and neighborhoods, green space is a serious consideration. It is believed that having well-designed open space increases the amount of walking, cycling, participation in active recreation and increases the neighborhood community. Urban planning also helps in preventing lifestyle related diseases through the easy access of physical activity and positive mental health. According the the Word Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is a major public health concern, and with the increase of available green space, people tend to be more active (https://bit.ly/2DjJEiu).

Urban parks also contribute environmental benefits. Natural landscapes are vital to preserving regional ecosystems in growing cities, and having a network of parks and open spaces allow for a natural habitat for animals and plants to grow. As well, trees and vegetations in urban parks offer lower costs and a natural solution for addressing stormwater runoff and pollution. Trees provide oxygen and help filter out harmful air pollution, including airborne particulate matter. According to the Trust for Public Land Center for CIty Park Excellence, Philadelphia experienced $16 million in annual public costs savings as a result of stormwater management and air pollution reduction in 2008. Urban parks and gardens play a critical role in cooling cities and provide a positive contribution to the environment (https://bit.ly/1T9Ewgo).

Here at hh2 we understand the importance of urban green space and the benefits that it can have on mental health and the environmental. Hh2 Cloud Services has a full suite of services that are completely paperless. Our products will not only reduce your use of paper, but they can save you time so you are able to get out and reap the benefits of these urban parks. To learn more about our cloud-based software, visit www.hh2.com or like hh2 Cloud Services on Facebook.

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