Design and delivery of open spaces that promote the health and wellbeing of people and the natural environment is a key challenge for health and urban planning in rapidly growing cities. There is growing recognition of the need for higher-density more compact urban form to accommodate the growing urban populations. In turn, this places greater pressure on Public Open Space (POS) and green spaces within urbanised areas and emphasises the important role of city planning to incorporate green spaces. A greater understanding of how these spaces should be designed is needed to support human health and the environment, including the physical, mental and social health of individuals and communities, and the maintenance of ecosystem services and biodiversity.
This review was prepared by University of Melbourne, School of Population and Global Health and was a collaborative project between the Heart Foundation (South Australian), the South Australian Local Government Association, SA Health, Office for Recreation and Sport, and the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources. The report presents evidence on characteristics of POS and green space that benefits human health and wellbeing, biodiversity and ecosystem services.
POS and green space are considered important for public health, personal wellbeing and vital for the provision of urban ecosystems services and maintaining biodiversity in cities. These spaces are widely understood as ‘improving’ cities by increasing amenity and providing places for both passive and active recreation.
The report attempts to define the attributes of “quality” and identifies a number of principles in order to achieve the co-benefits and deliver quality green space.
Download the report here – Green Spaces Evidence Review
Related news story in The Conversation – Higher-density cities need greening to stay healthy and liveable