City parks and open space improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighborhoods more attractive places to live and work.
As reported in the blog The Dirt , parks are an often overlooked aspect of the healthcare system.
"Parks are a part of our healthcare system," said Dr. Daphne Miller, a professor of family and community medicine, University of California, San Francisco, at the Greater & Greener: Reimagining Parks for 21st Century Cities, a conference in New York City. She said these green spaces are crucial to solving hypertension, anxiety, depression, diabetes -- "the diseases of indoor living." The more someone spends outdoors, the less likely they are to suffer from mental or physical disorders. But she said parks officials and the medical profession still needs more data to take aim at the many "naysayers on the other side" who don't believe in what every landscape architect values.
Parks and open spaces are underutilized and offer enormous benefits when used to excercise. But with "vigorous activity" languishing so noticeably, more public measures are needed to raise awareness of how we can effectively use our parks.
Read here to see how Dr. Deborah Cohen, senior natural scientist at RAND, and Sarah Messiah, a research professor at the University of Miami discovered some exciting results in their research on how to invigorate public parks.