Other that aethestics, what's the best argument for parks and other open cities in cities or poor areas?
They can reduce the ''health gap'' between economic classes, say researchers from two Scottish universities. Their study, released today, could give more of a push to governments seeking to preserve or create more green spaces.
According to this report on the BBC:
Even small parks in the heart of our cities can protect us from strokes and heart disease, perhaps by cutting stress or boosting exercise.
Their study, in The Lancet, matched data about hundreds of thousands of deaths to green spaces in local areas.
When the records of more than 366,000 people who died between 2001 and 2005 were analysed, it revealed that even tiny green spaces in the areas in which they lived made a big difference to their risk of fatal diseases.
...In an accompanying article in The Lancet, Dr Terry Hartig, from the Institute for Housing and Urban Research at Uppsala University in Sweden, wrote: "This study offers valuable evidence that green space does more than 'pretty up' the neighbourhood - it appears to have real effects on health inequality, of a kind that politicians and health authorities should take seriously."
Readers, what do you think? Do local, state, and federal authorities do enough to promote and maintain parks in your communities? Do think, with all the pressing demands upon government, that parks receive enough priority? Or do you think value of parks -- and findings of this study -- are overrated? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Helping Boston live a greener, more environmentally friendly life.
Christopher Reidy covers business for the Globe.
Doug Struck covers environmental issues from Boston.
Glenn Yoder produces Boston.com's Lifestyle pages.
Eric Bauer is site architect of Boston.com.
Bennie DiNardo is the Boston Globe's deputy managing editor/multimedia.
Dara Olmsted is a local sustainability professional focusing on green living.