Green me up.

Whilst casually surfing the news websites in a post Obama-election wind down, I stumbled across this gem: Green spaces reduce health gap.

Image: MVRDV / ADEPT Architects design for mix-use High rise ‘Sky Village’ for Copenhagen

As it turns out, with a degree of credibility, there seems to be evidence that living near any amount of green space is more than just good for you; it improves social equity too. The study (published in The Lancet) proves two things about green spaces. Firstly, they make you healthier. Secondly, they make you healthier when compared to the rich guy living next door. This appears to be true even if you only have a patch of green space outside your building, which you inevitably ‘share’ with a few hundred other people. In other words, it narrows the health gap that can exist between the rich and the poor.

“Populations that are exposed to the greenest environments also have lowest levels of health inequality related to income deprivation. Physical environments that promote good health might be important to reduce socioeconomic health inequalities.”

Dr Richard Mitchell PhD, and Frank Popham PhD.
The Lancet, Volume 372, Issue 9650, Pages 1655 - 1660, 8 November 2008

Thank you Dr Mitchell and Dr Popham! On environmental, equity and health grounds, cities must have green space. This is something that many of us would like anyway and indeed cities around the globe are now working on innovative ways to achieve higher densities whilst retaining, or increasing the amount of green space for their occupants. I particularly like these recent award-winning designs from MVRDV and ADEPT in Rødovre Copenhagen.

Image: MVRDV / ADEPT Architects design for mix-use High rise ‘Sky Village’ for Copenhagen

James Shepherd, Cambridge (UK).


Matt D. said...

I hope this is true! One of the reasons I love living in Chicago is that Mayor Daley has made adding more parks to the City on of his top priorities.

Daniel Ahkiam said...

Okay, I love that building's aesthetics, but I can't imagine what structural system would actually make that work. It get's so slender at the base that the overturning moments would be killer. Someone's going to have fun with this one...