In the UK, greenspace is treasured by locals who have spent their lives enjoying local parks, golf courses, and communal gardens, which have given them great memories, cleaner air, and healthier lifestyles. Despite this, more than 2.5 million people in Great Britain do not live near any public landscapes, as more parks and gardens are being torn down to accommodate for business ventures. While there should be some urgency regarding the amount of green space in big cities, the government only protects around 6 percent of these said areas. This is a far cry from what urban areas need, as studies have shown the average amount of green space per person is not even the size of a six-year box on a football pitch, which is extremely alarming.
There are some cities that have implemented more greenery, and in turn, improved the mental health of residents. Across the country, changes are in place to duplicate the number of public spaces available, with both the government and businesses committed to making the UK an eco-friendly country that provides its residents with areas to improve the general outlook on health and wellbeing.
The greenest cities
The UK may not be known for its adorning green space. However, one city that does make up for the lack of greenery is Edinburgh, which covers 41.72 percent of the city. This includes key landmarks such as Holyrood Park, which is 650 acres of hills, basalt cliffs, and more. The Royal Botanical Gardens are also a favorite amongst locals and visitors who come to see the reputable scientific research center, which specializes in the conservation and diversification of a wide range of plants.
Glasgow is another Scottish city that utilizes communal gardens to its advantage, which is appropriate considering its original name was Glas Cau which translates as green hollow. Scotland’s largest city is adorned with greenery covering 32 percent of the land. Both cities are also known for their vast golf courses, which provide avid golfers to take a swing at the putting greens. These green spaces are a testament to Scotland, which injects positive wellbeing and clean air into the atmosphere to outweigh pollutants.
At the opposite end of the green spectrum are cities like Liverpool, where the people have fought for their green space after losing battles with contractors who have dug up their beloved communal gardens. Despite this, there is still hope for the city with plenty of changes to the landscape, including Chavasse Park in Liverpool’s city center, which is a hotspot for locals and visitors. There has also been some contribution from developers and property experts who are investing in the landscape. One company that stands out is RW Invest who is a Liverpool-based property investment company with several developments in the works which are set to feature communal and rooftop gardens. This is sure to inject clean air into the atmosphere and offer tenants a place to unwind and relax.
Another north-west city that has shown improvements in recent years is Manchester, which is now up there with some of the top-performing urban areas with 20.4 percent green space. This should be expected from the city that invented the public park in 1846, although it still has a long way to go. In Manchester, the area with the least amount of green space is the city center, which is why developers are looking into creating one expansive urban park which is surrounded by commercial buildings. This will offer workers the chance to enjoy a relaxing lunch break in a positive environment, just a stone’s throw away from their workplace.
By implementing these improvements across other cities in the UK, the country can compete with European neighbors like the city of Moscow, which is home to the largest amount of green space in the world. Vienna is also top-performer, which in comparison to England, offers 120 square meters of green space to each resident, which is a number that the UK should look towards.