As we move towards densification forward planning for public amenities are vital. As neighbourhoods increase in density, the importance of well-designed, accessible shared amenities and facilities increases. Access to local, communal green spaces and community amenities plays a crucial role in decreasing car use and increasing cohesion, particularly for older people.
Cars as a ‘generational privilege’. Access to cars is often seen as a non-negotiable right rather than a privilege, something which older generations often push against. If we want to reduce private car demand within the over 60 demographic, we need to address this cultural approach and provide accessible and efficient public transport that is similarly convenient to car-travel.
Harness heat energy in public spaces. Capturing heat energy from parks and open spaces maybe a practical way to tackle the climate crisis locally; using new technologies boroughs can look at the feasibility of such initiatives on their own land.
Focus on every-day green spaces and provide for local neighbourhood need. With a fascination to maintain Victorian and other heritage parks we can fail to consider green spaces as places for today’s daily interaction as intrinsic to our well-being. Re-focussing attention on smaller or non-traditional green spaces such as park-lets and accessible green roofs, we are able to better adapt green infrastructure to the intensification of our suburbs.
Re-thinking the Victorian park as an ideal. Parks are often grounded in the past and conceptualised as heritage assets rather than places for people. Thoughtful planning and managing a network of urban green spaces for contemporary needs, such as mitigation of climate change and flood protection will help address the climate crisis in our cities and our suburbs as they intensify.
Links c/o Tony Leach: Using CIL for public green spaces
Good Parks for London 2018: https://parksforlondon.org.uk/good-parks-for-london/
Health Parks Toolkit: https://parksforlondon.org.uk/health-parks-toolkit-launched-today/
Tom Mitchell, Metropolitan Workshop
Max Wakefield, 10:10 Climate Action
Tony Leach, Parks for London
Meredith Whitten, London School of Economics