‘Research shows really clearly that we need nature in our surroundings. We need trees in our streets, plants in our gardens and flowers on our balcony. We need nature as our neighbor all the time. ‘We have a responsibility as human beings to take care of nature in our cities. In return, the benefits to our health would be huge.’
Urban green spaces such as parks, sports fields and gardens give people the space for physical activity, relaxation, peace, and an escape from heat. Multiple studies have shown that these spaces reduce stress and boost mental and physical health. Green spaces are also associated with better air quality, reduced traffic noise, cooler temperatures, and greater diversity.
Humans flourish in greenness because it aids the functioning process of the respiratory system. Green plants give out oxygen which the body takes in and removes carbon dioxide. This is clearly a symbiotic relationship between both which makes it necessary for individuals to always be surrounded by green in their space.
In a bid to keep plants alive in the environment, gardens and parks were established. Gardens and parks are planned spaces used for cultivation, display and enjoyment of plants and also for recreation.
Parks and gardens hold greenness which often co-exists with birds and animals. Direct exposure to flora and fauna boost children and young adults’ knowledge about their natural habitat thereby encouraging them to be either scientist, botanist, etc.; creates the eagerness in individuals to learn about nature.
Parks offer opportunities to enrich the quality of life for diverse kinds of people. Research has shown that when people have access to parks, they relax and exercise more. Regular physical activity has been shown to increase health and reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension and diabetes. Physical activity also relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, improves mood, and enhances psychological well-being. It has also been established that contact with natural habitat improves physical and psychological health. Older adults with access to recreational prospects profit from the social connections and interactions that are fundamental to their well-being.
Parks and gardens have long been recognized as key contributors to the aesthetic and physical quality of neighborhoods. Today, we realize that parks are more than recreation and visual assets to communities; they are valuable contributors to larger community policy objectives, such as public health, youth development, job opportunities, social and cultural exchange, and community building.
At the community level parks play a special role, they have something to offer everyone from young children and teens, to families, adults and the elderly; their presence can also be a cohesive force. They are more than places to recreate and relate to nature; parks can also offer a multitude of opportunities to engage in arts and music. A park can be a community focal point, a symbol of its vitality and character, adding to its overall health, well-being and quality of life. Also, crime is relatively lesser in places where parks exist.
The availability of recreation opportunities and park amenities is also an important factor for investors in deciding where to invest.