Urban Green Structure as a Means of Promoting Public Health and Wellbeing / How Parks and Recreation Spaces Contribute to Health

Torgeir Esig Soerensen

Speakers: Torgeir Esig Soerensen (NOR), David Aldous (AUS)

Urban Green Structure: The City of Stavanger, Norway’s most densely populated city (130,000 inhabitants), has through the years established a green cobweb throughout the city. Every inhabitant in the city now lives within maximum 500m from a park or a green corridor. The backbones of the park structure consist of green trails linking all parts of the city together. The success has not come easy, comprising hard political discussions over land use plans, compulsory land purchase, and several trials. This presentation identifies challenges and success factors, solutions and benefits.

Parks and Recreation Spaces: Living green infrastructure, in its various forms of green open space, is a vital indicator of environmental sustainability as well as a source of economic value of a country’s health care services. This presentation looks at a multidisciplinary literature search that assessed the body of research that highlights green infrastructure development in Europe, North America and Australasia. Three major themes include: research studies into green infrastructure that contribute to the economic, environmental, social and health enhancement of urban residents; important planning, design and maintenance indicators that emerge from these studies; and the development of a people-plant-people-paradigm.

Presentation from the 2013 Alberta Recreation and Parks Association Annual Conference and Energize Workshop

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