Nearby nature in the city: Preserving and enhancing livability

Source: OAI


Cities are often described as vibrant and exciting, fast paced and bustling. Yet cities also have tranquil places. Where might such places be? Perhaps beneath the canopy of a large tree, a vest pocket park, a colorful garden, or along a riverside trail. More than likely, such respites are nature places. They are unlikely to be nature on a grand scale; to some they may not even qualify as “nature.” Far from being untouched by humans, urban nature is at the mercy of people.

But at the same time, people are at the mercy of such nature. Nature plays a vital role in their lives – as indicated by volumes of poetry and by what is by now a substantial body of research. People are often passionate even about small bits of nature they find nearby. They nurture it, defend it, and mourn its loss.This document grew out of concern for such loss. Rather than mourn that nature is losing ground to infill, why not plan for having nature nearby while also planning for increasing urban density?

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Available from: Raymond K De Young, Jan 21, 2014

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Article: Nearby nature in the city: Preserving and enhancing livability

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    • "An adequate living environment balances sensory inputs and provides a mix of responses that are both congenial and consistent with people's culturally and evolutionary conditioned needs to re-affirm identity (Hall, 1968; Herzog et al., 1976; Kaplan et al., 2007). As such, study of our immediate surroundings is especially important regarding the mainstream planning of our urban and rural environments or public health priorities (Lindheim and Syme, 1983; Frumkin et al., 2004; Hancock, 1985; Lalonde 1974) since they are readily accessible and experienced by many as an everyday part of life (Kaplan, 1983; Wolf, 2005; Westphal, 2003; Hibberd, 1989; Dwyer et al., 1991; Kaplan et al., 2007; Coles and Caserio, 2001). A range of authors seek to explain how we relate to our surroundings emphasising that it is what the landscape means that is important and that the landscape is given meaning by the individual in the context of their experience. "
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