Importance Of Public Open Space Health And Social Care Essay

One of the principal aims of any public authority is to improve the quality of life. “Parks and public open spaces have played an critical role to improve residents’ life in development of city” (Nankervis, 1998). The history of public spaces could be found all over the centuries – in the medieval era, the communal grazing space and city square also known as the ‘common’ was a significant urban element. Industrial revolution might trace back the tradition of providing for POS(public open spaces) was recognised as a critical aspect in the city development (Churchus, C. et al 2004). For the majority of 19th and early 20th centuries, the provision of POS within urban areas were considered as essential to the resident health of inner city, where commonly crowded conditions, pollution and lack of sanitation were an issue. Recent research defined at the beginning of the new millennium shows that “more than 60% of the world’s population lives in cities. By 2025 will be over 5 billion people who live in urban contexts and in 135 metropolitan areas, the number of residents will exceed 4 million” (Musco, 2006). Those aspects is becoming problem; the increase in population, lack of public services, growth of cities by dispersion of settlements and pollution in the rapid urbanization. Therefore, residences require more safety and to be more environmentally friendly constructed. Nowadays, POS provide leisure, recreation and promote public health (Banjeree, 2001) as well as making areas more attractive and more pleasing places.

According to World Health Organization of workshop report which is “The future for our children”, Physical activities absence cause by the lack of open spaces for recreation lead to psychological problems, obesity, accidents and injuries were considered as priorities. Other aspects is that children have more time for television, computer games and an increase in the development lead to use of ‘commercial playgrounds’ (McKendrick et al. 2000). Moreover, the other research has identified these startling facts: 20% of four-year-olds are overweight and 15% of 15-year-olds are obese. Evidence shows that this increase in obesity is linked to more sedentary lifestyles and a decrease in outdoor activity. It could expect the adult patterns of exercise are set early in life (Kuh, Cooper 1992). Therefore, exercise shortage when young can breed problems in adulthood, i.e. diabetes and heart disease.

It also appears that there is a problem with polluted places or ruins instead of open spaces. Surroundings without green space link to short of community sense and aspect increased behaviour of violence compared with those that included green space (Jackson, Kochtitzky 2001). In addition, the dangerous place attracts vermin and can harbour criminal activities (Lord 1995) For example, the largest wastewater sludge plant and medical waste incinerator in the Northeast of New York City, where has a childhood asthma 1000% higher than other city in New York State. Children might choose to play on the streets rather than in garbage and used needles of the vacant (Maantay 2001). This study shows that land-use patterns also significantly affect the health of urban communities and lack of safe places limits child’s activities.

In the recent study examined different socio-economic status(SES) of children play in open space. The 94% of parents concern regarding their child’s safety was the most frequently presented factor influencing where children played. Parental-safety concerns about the their children playing were mainly influenced by strangers, congregate teenagers/gangs undesirable behaviours such as bullying, having alcohol and road traffic (Valentine and McKendrick, 1997). These concerns were particularly evident among more than one-third of parents from low and mid SES areas, compared to just 10% of parents from high SES areas. In addition, more than 80% of families lived on a main or through street, half of the parents allowed their children to play on the street where expose cars. Therefore, the children seem to spend more time at home, friends’ houses even in the bush, river, road and street. These safety concerns limit places opportunities for children’s play.

Though almost all recognise that problem exists, the best possible response has not been easy to reach. Supporting green open space and sustainable design can bring down disease, mental problems furthermore carbon footprints through ecological park, green infrastructure and upkeep of allotments. It could have long-term positive effects on public health, economic value of public space and reducing crime, which three principal points can be justified with some evidences in next stage.

London is still among the greenest capital cities in the world ( Londoner can enjoy the great outdoors more than other countries, also Nottingham is good example because not only there are a number of parks for people, but also people easy to access high-quality of green spaces which make a healthier community. There is a growing concern about the health of the nation which related particularly our public health. From the perspective of planning and building places that influence people’s health, “an all-inclusive approach to public health which respects the prevention of disease and the promotion of physical and mental well-being”(Honari and Boleyn 1999, Pacione, 2003). The figure 1 gives more information about obesity already costs more in public health terms, and why important the assessment of green space for public health.

¿¡4.2 billion

Annual cost to the NHS of obesity and related diseases

50 per cent

Reduction in risk of heart attack by a daily walk in the park

91 per cent

People who believe that public parks and open spaces improve quality of life

300 per cent

Increased likelihood of residents being physically active in residential areas with high levels of greenery

Figure 1. Greenspace Scotland 2009: Health impact assessment of greenspace: a Scottish Natural Heritage and Institute of Occupational Medicine, published by greenspace scotland

Firstly, safe and clean area encourages people to walk more and therefore meet considerable health benefits. Surgeon General prescribed lively walking or cycling as little as 30 minutes a day in the park to improve health. It has been reported to reduce heart attack risk by 50%, (Hakim 1999) diabetes by 50%,( The Diabetes Prevention Research Group 2002) colon cancer by 30%( Slattery, Potter and Caan et al 1997). Moreover, it is estimated that “if just one in 100 inactive people took adequate exercise it could save the NHS in Scotland as much as £85 million per year.” (Bird 2003). Secondly, there is increasing evidence that ‘nature’ in the urban environment is benefits for both physical and mental health. Natural elements such as trees and lakes promote a drop in blood pressure and reduce stress feelings(Hartig, Evans, et. al. 2003). Increasing access to high-quality POS can produce substantial benefits of public health and save healthcare costs such as joining a gym or going swimming (Pretty, Griffin, Sellens and Pretty, 2003). Therefore, being activities in outside promote physical and mental well-being, reduce stress, overcome isolation, social cohesion and alleviate physical problems. In other words, future health can be defined how carefully design makes healthy places through public green spaces.

Being urbanisation has led to children with short of opportunities to play out of house and experience the natural environment than previous generations. Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children have the right to play, recreation and culture (Petrie, Egharevba, Oliver and Poland, 2000). Play breeds important phenomenon for development of children; the growth of social skills, experimentation about the crises of confrontation and the promotion of physical activity. Baranowski T. et al also defined “natural open space for children, that being outdoors is the most powerful correlate of physical activity, and contact with nature can significantly reduce the psychological distress caused by stress”. Firstly, activity in public, green spaces bring benefit to children suffering from Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Evidence shows that green space activities such as fishing, soccer were 85% regarded the behaviour of children with ADD, while non-green activities such as video games, watching television were only 43% improved as beneficial (Taylor 2001). Secondly, places with trees and grass encourage better opportunities for children’s playing than spaces without such eclogical elements. For example, in inner-city Chicago, children’s playing was monitored in surrounding apartment blocks where were similarly planned trees and grass. Playing in the green spaces found significantly higher levels of creative than in the barren areas. Children playing in the green spaces had more opportunity for mental growth, this aspect can improve the interpersonal skills development (Taylor 2001). In addition, well-designed spaces will provide to fill fewer opportunities than previous generations through providing children with opportunities for exercise and leaning.

The crime-ridden district can change to attractive, safe places and improve place value by public open space. Firstly, community gardens were shown significant reduction in crime rate. A positive example emerges from Southern Ontario, Canada, a community garden was attempted on the old rubbish dump site, which attracted local criminals and was avoided by the 1200 local residents as a result drastic 30% drop in crime through environmental design. Moreover, this reduction has encouraged residents to use the streets more at night, including better communication with different ethnic groups (McKay 1998). Such changes can promote everyone to meet the greatest of public spaces. Indeed, good-quality public spaces link to good management to prevent from slumism. Secondly, locating proximity to public space b economic value and trading by leading more people for retailers. It has been shown that well-planned public spaces improvements in town centres could generate commercial trading by up to 40% and the growth of private sector investment (DoE and The Association of Town Centre Management, Managing Urban Spaces in Town Centres 1997). “Small businesses choosing a new business location rank the amount of open space and proximity to parks and recreation as the number-one priority in site selection.” (The Trust for Public Land, Economic Benefits of Open Space, 2001) Thirdly, The local economy can achieve significant positive impact from a high-quality public landscape in terms of stimulating increase in value of house, since prorerty-buyers prefer to be near green space. For example, in Berlin by 2000, close to playgrounds in residential areas and a high number of street trees was found to increase 16% in the values of property. (Luther, Gruehn 2001). In Leiden, Netherlands, a view of a park have been shown to raise the house prices by 8% to compare with a view of an apartment block, which can reduce the price by 7%. The value of homes was at least 15% higher by the presence of green spaces, where the majority of residents mentioned the public green spaces as a major factor in their moving decision into the area. (Luttik 2000)

When the environment is unattractive, Unsafe, i.e. ‘unwalkable’ urban areas, can make it hard to achieve the requirements of physical activity and interaction between residents and nature area by the lack of greenery and dominated traffic. It will provide unproductive life style. Inclusive high-quality, well-maintained public spaces that encourage walking, cycling and various activities have a positive effect on our health. In other words, POS is a powerful weapon in the fight against obesity and illness. Responsibility explained the interrelationship between health, well-being and sustainability and urban design improvements undertaken as part of a wider strategy can breed even more dramatic results; shifting patterns of sickness, population, public health, also bring down carbon footprints. Probably, carefully design can deal with complex requirements in simple ways. However, above all, integrated decision-making should be preceded by policymakers, also they should concern existing communities and refurbishments. This research has deal with sustainable, promotive health environments together with the concerning health and well-being. This win-win strategy in sustainability benefits accrue from every planning process through more collaborative working. Open space will become firmly part of ordinance and community development. Approach to public open space maximises its potential to contribute to a more inclusive and sustainable one on a local, regional and national level that will enhance a wide range of goals.

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