Making Parks Count – The Case for Parks
During the COVID19 “lock down” parks were quite rightly championed by politicians and scientists as critical to people’s physical and mental wellbeing and people flocked to their local parks to take exercise, relax or just see their neighbours at a safe distance. Parks have always the most favoured community space and the pandemic strengthened this relationship revealing a greater appreciation of their everyday benefits whilst for parks services and researchers it exposed their proven, and multiple, wellbeing benefits.
The government says its committed to a post pandemic Green Recovery that is science-led, clean and resilient and will create employment in the industries of the future while ensuring we address the linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity. Although finalised just before the pandemic struck ‘Making Parks Count’ underlines how parks are uniquely placed to tackle these 21st century challenges and provide a significant return for any investment made to kick start the economy and as part of a comprehensive longer term Green Recovery.
Matthew Bradbury, The Parks Alliance’s Chair said: “Making Parks Count makes the case for parks. This is the first time that research and evidence of the proven benefits of parks in England has been brought together and a value placed on them at a national level. In doing we have exposed the magnitude of the true value of parks for decision makers in local and central government and across health and environment sectors. This shows why parks are a smart investment. Over the last decade the quality of some parks has fallen, the amount of urban green space reduced and opportunities for seizing these benefits lost. Ensuring parks are part of the post COVID kick start to the economy and the Green Recovery provide opportunities to turn this around.”