Cities Connecting Children to Nature news from around the world
In some U.S. cities, efforts to increase access to green spaces are leading to undesired higher taxes and more expensive housing in some cases. One example is Chicago’s 606 elevated-rail trail which has seen property values increase nearly 48% since 2013. Such new green areas can lead to gentrification that inadvertently displaces low-income populations intended to benefit from the green areas. However, city leaders with experience in such projects stress that effective cross-sector collaboration can help avoid such consequences.
The city of Philadelphia is investing $500 million to reinvigorate its parks, libraries, playgrounds and recreation centers, and spread opportunity into all corners of the city. The program, called “Rebuild,” is paid for in part by a new tax on sugar-laden drinks. Philadelphia is the first big city to pass such a “soda tax” bill.
Salzburg Global Fellows from “The Child in the City” Program Publishes Statement on Importance of Parks and Play for Children’s Health
The Salzburg Global Fellows, a group of experts in urban planning, childhood development, conservation, environmental policy, and health, have called on leaders to ensure all children enjoy the right to safe, free play in a nature-rich space within a 10-minute walk from home. The call to action was part of a larger Salzburg Statement which outlines policies, practices, investments as well as actions that can transform cities for children. The Salzburg Global program The Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play is part of the multi-year Parks for the Planet Forum, a series held in partnership with the IUCN and Huffington Foundation.
Cities across the U.S. are transforming parking lots into nature-filled public parks and green spaces. As more people move to cities, the new parks give them access to essential green space, offering a host of benefits including to health, real estate and climate.
A program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland is including nature as part of its public health strategy.
SHINE (Stay Healthy in Nature Everyday) is a partnership with the East Bay Regional Park District and the Regional Parks Foundation which aims to encourage more patients, particularly socioeconomically disadvantaged families,
to access the benefits from contact with nature.