Access to nature in a post Covid-19 world: opportunities for green infrastructure financing, distribution and equitability in urban planning

Ian Mell, Meredith Whitten

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Covid-19 changed the way many people viewed and interacted with the natural environment. In the UK, a series of national lockdowns limited the number of places that individuals could use to support their mental and physical health. Parks, gardens, canals and other “green infrastructure” (GI) resources remained open and were repositioned as “essential infrastructure” supporting well-being. However, the quality, functionality and location of GI in urban areas illustrated a disparity in distribution that meant that in many cases communities with higher ethnic diversity, lower income and greater health inequality suffered from insufficient access. This paper provides commentary on these issues, reflecting on how planners, urban designers and environmental organizations are positioning GI in decision-making to address inequality. Through a discussion of access and quality in an era of austerity funding, this paper proposes potential pathways to equitable environmental planning that address historical and contemporary disenfranchisement with the natural environment in urban areas.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1527
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • green infrastructure
  • urban planning
  • health
  • finance
  • equity
  • accessibility

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