The large parks and green infrastructure presented here illustrate the diverse uses and many benefits of large urban parks across 30 major cities. Demand for large urban parks emerged at the height of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1800s, when large urban parks represented new ideas of accessible public spaces, often established on land previously owned by aristocracy, royalty or the army. They represented new ideas on how city life could be improved and how large green spaces could enhance urban citizens’ physical and psychological well-being (e.g. Birkenhead Park in Liverpool, Bois de Boulogne in Paris, Tiergarten in Berlin and Central Park in New York City). Today, large urban parks are habitats for biodiversity and spaces of climate change adaptation. For people living in cities, this biodiversity may represent high cultural, recreational and aesthetic values, but is also important for other aspects of health and well-being, for example by reducing the urban heat island effect, air pollution and risks of flooding. At a time when we are seriously reconsidering how we live in cities and our urban quality of life, while also grappling with serious challenges of climate change, the authors of this book detail the much-needed evidence, pathways and vision for a future of more liveable, resilient cities where large urban parks are at the core. This book will help park managers, NGOs, landscape architects and city planners to develop the green city of the future.
Table of Contents
1. Visions of Urban Green
2. Quality of Life
3. Ecosystem Services
4. Social Cohesion
5. City Meets Nature
6. Heritage and Identity
7. Design for All
Richard Murray has been an environmental activist since the 1960s. He is President of the Swedish Ekoparken Association (Forbundet for Ekoparken) and is the Co-chair of Large Urban Parks Committee of the World Urban Parks Association. He has a PhD in political economy from the University of Stockholm.
"The book is absolutely unique and should be the standard reference on this important subject for years ahead."
—Richard T. T. Forman, PAES Professor of Landscape Ecology Emeritus, Harvard University
"Read it, I am sure it will inspire you to care for and share the green treasures of your cities!"
—Håkan Wirtén, Secretary General, WWF Sweden
"This book details the much needed evidence, the pathways and the vision for future livable more resilient cities where Large Urban Parks are at the core."
—Thomas Elmqvist, Professor in Natural Resource Management at Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University