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Access to nature in a post Covid-19 world: opportunities for green infrastructure financing, distribution and equitability in urban planning

Mell, Ian and Whitten, Meredith (2021) Access to nature in a post Covid-19 world: opportunities for green infrastructure financing, distribution and equitability in urban planning. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18 (4). ISSN 1661-7827

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Identification Number: 10.3390/ijerph18041527

Abstract

Covid-19 changed the way many people viewed and interacted with the natural environment. In the UK, a series of national lockdowns limited the number of places that individuals could use to support their mental and physical health. Parks, gardens, canals and other “green infrastructure” (GI) resources remained open and were repositioned as “essential infrastructure” supporting well-being. However, the quality, functionality and location of GI in urban areas illustrated a disparity in distribution that meant that in many cases communities with higher ethnic diversity, lower income and greater health inequality suffered from insufficient access. This paper provides commentary on these issues, reflecting on how planners, urban designers and environmental organizations are positioning GI in decision-making to address inequality. Through a discussion of access and quality in an era of austerity funding, this paper proposes potential pathways to equitable environmental planning that address historical and contemporary disenfranchisement with the natural environment in urban areas.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph
Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2021 18:01
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2021 04:12
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/108862

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