How do Parks and Green Spaces Benefit our Towns and Cities?
Parks and green spaces hold many benefits to our towns and cities and the communities within them. Believe it or not, but London is one of the world’s greenest cities; 47% of the nation’s capital is classed as green space.
Across the UK, urban parks play a vital role in providing places to socialise, relax, exercise, and enjoy the benefits of coming into contact with trees and open spaces. They are also centres for community and cultural events, particularly during the summer months.
The Economic Importance of Parks and Green Spaces
The Land Trust is a charity which aims to improve people’s lives through the long term sustainable management of open spaces for environmental, social and economic benefits to the community. They have conducted research into the economic value of one of their latest parks, Port Sunlight River Park, and found that £7.8 million was added to the value of houses within a 500 metre radius of the location – an average of £8,674 per property.
In a survey by the Evening Standard it was estimated that for every £1 spent on London parks by local councils and authorities, the value to each member of the population was £27. Having access to such spaces is estimated to save upwards of £900 million in health costs.
Parks and green spaces also support many small businesses, from personal fitness trainers, ice cream sellers, and dog walkers to name a few.
NatraTex Contributes to UK Parks and Green Spaces
Being able to access parks and green spaces requires surfacing which is smooth, durable and is suitable for able bodied visitors, people in wheel chairs, and those with challenges to their mobility. NatraTex has supplied coloured paving to parks and play areas across the UK.
Coleshill Memorial Park in Warwickshire had its children’s adventure playground regenerated thanks to NatraTex Cotswold. The honey and golden hues are associated with the vibrancy of yellow. Being the brightest colour of the visible spectrum, the human eye sees yellow as the most noticeable of all colours. NatraTex Cotswold has a more subtle hue meaning it isn’t over powering but pervades happiness and optimism; like the colour of sun shining, it is the perfect surfacing for parks and playgrounds.
When Queen’s Gardens in Newcastle under Lyme underwent a transformation, NatraTex Terracotta was the key to rejuvenating the pathways in the towns focal point. The meaning of terracotta is “fired earth”, giving the footpaths the appearance of fired clay, something synonymous with the traditional pottery industry of the North Staffordshire region. Balancing the energy of orange with darker brown tones to create a warm and welcoming route around the vibrant flower beds to the newly constructed civic building, library and police headquarters known as “Castle House”. The tone of NatraTex Terracotta perfectly matches the architecture, giving it a sense of place within this environment.
Footpaths and cycle paths in places as diverse as Christchurch, near Bournemouth and Barking have enabled residents and visitors to get away from busy traffic and take a more stress-free journey around their surroundings. Using decorative paving from the NatraTex Colour range enables a distinction from the black and dark grey asphalt associated with the main highways. Being diverted away from motor vehicles, it is not uncommon to see green used to pave a cycle route. In this context green has strong associations with safety, which is why we see it opposed to red as the colour linked to free passage in traffic.