August 08, 2023
Plan needed as green space built over
An urban planner says New Zealand needs to get better at proving green spaces in poorer neighbourhoods.
Dr I-Ting Chuang from the University of Auckland School of Architecture and Planning says a 2020 Auckland study found greens paces in more affluent neighbourhoods are larger, more numerous, and in better locations than in poor areas.
She says such spaces are vital in high-density urban settings as places to de-stress, exercise, and participate in sports and community activities, as well as soaking up stormwater overflows and providing habitats for plants and small wildlife.
Densification may force people to rethink how to provide such areas.
“In European cities, people are more prone to smaller spaces like apartments and consolidate their back yards into a park, so that everybody can enjoy it. Even though I know there are cultural differences in New Zealand, it’s a very different culture, but just having a different thinking – we really do have to worry about it,” she says.
Dr Chuang says innovation such as micro-parks or green space incorporated into buildings will only happen councils make it happen.