A healthy city is one that is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources which enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and developing to their maximum potential. Greenery isn’t a luxury or a privilege: it should form a vital part of any urban ecosystem. Green space can reduce aggressive behaviours in struggling neighbourhoods; clean polluted air; and even significantly improve a person’s sense of wellbeing, even when seen from the home.
According to some studies, urban dwellers are at significantly increased risk of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. The pace of modern life likely contributes to stress levels and unease, but the spaces in which we live are also a vital part of the puzzle. Some urban designers are setting their sites on one key part of the mental health epidemic: loneliness. The health benefits of exercise are too long to list: from reducing obesity to combatting depression, physical activity is crucial to human happiness and wellbeing — but many large cities aren’t conducive to an active life. Air pollution levels are dangerously high across the world and limited space in which to exercise doesn’t help.