Green Spaces for Healing and Recovery: The Importance of Green Infrastructure in Promoting Health and Well-Being in the Post-Pandemic Era
Green Infrastructure for Healing and Recovery: The Importance of Green Infrastructure in Promoting Health and Well-Being in the Post-Pandemic Era
How we live and interact with our environment, particularly how we plan and use urban spaces, has been substantially altered by the COVID-19 epidemic. Many cities are looking to green infrastructure to boost public health and wellbeing as they strive to recover and rebuild in the wake of the pandemic.
The relationship between green infrastructure and wellbeing and health
Ancient civilisations have a long history of understanding the connection between health and the environment. For instance, Hippocrates discussed the value of clean air, clean water, and efficient waste management in his writings from antiquity (Gesler, W.M., 1993). As air and water pollution increased during the Industrial Revolution, the harmful effects of industrialisation on health and the environment became more obvious (Ahuti, S, 2015). As the relationship between the health of people and communities and the environment became more widely understood in the 20th century, environmental health and public health merged. The World Health Organization and other international health organisations continue to stress the necessity of addressing the effects of the environment on health in order to promote the well-being of populations around the world (WHO Europe, 2009).
What is Green Infrastructure:
Using natural components like trees, green areas, and water bodies to give a variety of benefits in urban environments is known as “green infrastructure.” Among these advantages are better air quality, a diminished heat island effect, stormwater management, and the establishment of habitat (Khaled, A & Elewa, A. 2014).
Improving public health with Green Infrastructure:
Access to outdoor areas for recreation and physical activity is one way that green infrastructure can contribute to enhancing public health and wellbeing. Numerous health advantages of physical activity include lowering the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity (Calaza, Pedro. 2016). Additionally, it has been demonstrated that spending time in nature has positive effects on mental health, including lowered stress and enhanced mood (Calaza, Pedro. 2016).
By contributing to better air quality, green infrastructure can also enhance public health. As a result of trees and other plants absorbing air pollution, we breathe in fewer dangerous particles. This is particularly crucial in metropolitan settings, where the concentration of buildings, transportation, and other pollution sources frequently results in higher air pollution levels (De la Sota et al., 2019).
Extreme weather phenomena, such floods and heat waves, can be lessened in their consequences with the use of green infrastructure. For instance, vegetation such as trees and other plants may absorb and filter stormwater to lessen the risk of floods as well as provide shade and assist in cooling the air to lessen the impact of heat waves (De la Sota et al., 2019).
Green infrastructure can help society and the economy in addition to improving health. Green spaces can raise property values and be used to revitalize vacant or underutilized areas, opening up new possibilities for community growth (Khaled, A & Elewa, A. 2014).
Green infrastructure can be extremely important for enhancing public health and wellbeing as towns attempt to recover and rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cities may develop areas that are not only healthier and more sustainable but also more livable and pleasurable for all community members by giving priority to the use of natural features in urban planning.