Saving the Health Service £2bn a year makes parks a smart investment for a Green Recovery
Today, The Parks Alliance (TPA) has published ‘Making Parks Count’ making the business case for parks, why they matter and why they are a ‘smart investment’. The case illustrates how parks in England deliver over £6.6bn of health, climate change and environmental benefits each year including £2.2bn in avoided health costs alone and worth £140 per year for each urban resident. For every £1 spent on parks in England an estimated £7 in additional value for health and wellbeing and the environment is generated. The case clearly demonstrates that parks are a smart investment. Unfortunately, because these returns have never been properly understood, parks have suffered from years of underfunding and there remain gross inequalities in access to quality green spaces across the country. Making Parks Count presents the case for turning this around.
During the COVID19 “lock down” parks were quite rightly championed by politicians and scientists as critical to people’s physical and mental wellbeing and people flocked to their local parks to take exercise, relax or just see their neighbours at a safe distance. Parks have always the most favoured community space and the pandemic strengthened this relationship revealing a greater appreciation of their everyday benefits whilst for parks services and researchers it exposed their proven, and multiple, wellbeing benefits.
The government is committed to a post pandemic Green Recovery that is science-led, clean and resilient and will create employment in the industries of the future while ensuring we address the linked challenges of public health, climate change, and biodiversity. Although finalised just before the pandemic struck ‘Making Parks Count’ underlines how parks are uniquely placed to tackle these 21st century challenges and provide a significant return for any investment made to kick start the economy post COVID19 or as part of a comprehensive Green Recovery.
Posted on: 24 June 2020