The need for nature in a pandemic

Water Services Association of Australia

Accessing high quality greenspace (at a safe distance from others) for physical and mental health is more important than ever during this time of increased community stress – and it’s a sign of their critical importance to healthy communities that our water-enabled urban parks and gardens have remained open during the lockdown period.

Anyone who has walked through a park or along a waterway over the last few months will have noticed the huge increase in community use of these areas. It is clear that they have been rediscovered by communities in isolation seeking refuge, recreation and mental rejuvenation, as well as social connection (at a safe distance).

Greener Spaces, Better Places recently did a survey amongst urban local governments right across Australia, and found that this phenomenon has been seen almost everywhere. Importantly, over 60% of survey respondents said that urban greening was ‘essential’ for their council during COVID-19, and 40% were already receiving funding to deliver capital works.

Having open space within walking and cycling distance to people’s homes has proven to be important during lockdown, and water utilities are actively collaborating with planning authorities and local governments to make sure new urban communities are well served with green space that is usable year-round.

Excerpt from WSAA article - full article