Why are green spaces in our cities necessary?

Posted on 20th October 2020

Why are green spaces in our cities necessary?

For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. By 2050 this is expected to increase to a whopping 66%. Surprising when we all live with the knowledge that cities are damaging our health!

It is estimated that 9 million people die each year as a direct result of air pollution and scientists are currently researching a possible link between this pollution and the spread of Covid-19. Data shows that more than a third of deaths involving Covid in England had a respiratory or cardiovascular disease as the main pre-existing health condition. 

So how do we transform our urban areas into healthy places to be? Research is increasingly pointing towards nature. So how can we use natural elements around us to make our cities healthier and more liveable? 

Let’s consider reallocating our concrete space to that of greenery, adjusting the balance of concrete versus nature.

Encouraged to spend more time outside we now need to make better use of our immediate spaces, we need trees lining the streets, plants in our gardens and flowers on our balconies.

Green spaces among our cities help mitigate the harmful effects of pollution and in turn can reduce the urban heat island effect. Human activity within our city centres generates heat which gets trapped in the narrow spaces and concrete structures. The huge heat build-up in our urban areas leads to an increased cooling need which is devastatingly costly for our environment. The increased heat of our pavements raises water temperatures that are released into our streams, rivers and lakes. A destructive cycle for all aquatic ecosystems.

Planning and planting to create mini green spaces is a first but vital step in making our concrete areas healthier. Small pockets of planting can create flourishing ecosystems in an otherwise man-made environment. We now need to give up some of our concrete areas to make way for a long-term benefit to our health and well-being. We need a healthier future.

Our obvious disconnection from nature is detrimental, giving ourselves access to green spaces can have such a lifting effect on our stress levels and can even improve concentration at work and boost productivity.

A city with well-planned and well-managed green infrastructure becomes instantly more resilient and in turn so do we.

Green spaces are vital for everyone, we all feel the benefit. They should be easily accessible and allow us to meet within our communities at a safe social distance. A beautifully designed green landscape combined with clever street furniture design offers not only a great use of space but creates the opportunity to add an aesthetic quality often missing in hard concrete design. Successful green areas and clever planting can improve morale and productivity of city workers through psychological benefits and far beyond.

Green infrastructure, of course, lowers carbon emissions, which improves air quality. The process of photosynthesis allows plants to absorb the harmful carbon dioxide found in our cities and releases refreshing oxygen into our immediate environment.

Bailey Street Furniture Group have in response to this demand designed a flexible, modular retaining wall system which is perfect for creating raised planting schemes in our urban and city environment. Easy installation of the modules makes this planting system perfect for all areas of our cityscape, from street courtyards to roof terraces. 

Inspira Linear is a collection of straight wall and angled corners perfect for geometrically shaped areas. Inspira Form offers an aesthetically pleasing addition of curved wall and corner sections allowing for a more organic shaped installation. All modules are available in a wide variety of materials, finishes and sizes. Inspira provides us with a blank canvas, enabling natural planting and colour introduction.

Inspira Seating integrates seamlessly with both the linear and beautiful organic curves of the modules to create a social space. A valuable place to safely sit, socially distanced among a pocket of green space bringing an essential sense of wellbeing.

Inspira Form includes all the rectilinear components of Linear but with the addition of curved wall and corner sections, allowing more organically shaped installations to contrast with the sharp lines of the cityscape.

Even a small amount of time sitting within a natural environment allows for many health benefits. The cleverly designed Inspira furniture has been upgraded and strengthened and can act as a now necessary protective barrier in heavily built up areas. The range can be placed strategically and has the ability to slow down or even stop an unwanted vehicle or accident protecting pedestrians.

Carefully considered placement of upgraded and strengthened products such as Planters, Benches and Litter bins within pedestrian areas of cities and towns has the ability to slow down and even stop an unwanted vehicle.

View the Inspira Range on the Bailey Streetscene Website.

For more information on BSFG please contact their team on 01625 322 888 or email enquiries@bsfg.co.uk. To view the company’s wide range of high-quality street furniture visit their website www.bsfg.co.uk

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