Unequal Access to Urban Green Spots, Extended UK Lockdowns Trouble Tourists & Residents
Recurrent lockdowns across the UK and the dire urgency to stick to social-distancing measures have reprieved people from accessing urban green spots amid the pandemic. As per guidance issued by the Cabinet Office, both residents and tourists can travel short distances to access open spaces close to their lodgings.
The rules were questioned when Derbyshire police fined £200 worth notices to two women who travelled nearly five miles from their homes for some physical activity. Strict travel restrictions combined with the unequal access to urban green spots has made it difficult for people to maintain their physical and mental wellbeing.
As per Europe’s largest conservation charity — Natural England, nearly 12 percent people in the UK and 21% people in London do not have access to urban green spots near their homes. Further, the research suggests that black people have lesser access to a garden than white people. Since people now wish stay in cities that follow sustainable development principles, it is important for governments to work towards the development of more such settlements.
To resolve this issue, Natural England has suggested some ways to make Britain’s urban green spots slightly more accessible for the residents. The charity’s research states that there is an urgent need to create large regional parks and forests in the urban spaces that can help people to connect with wild natural spaces, without a car. Also, the formerly built spaces must be refurbished to suit the interests of residents and tourists. Opening cycling routes and sport areas in the parks can help. Having access to green spaces within local community, would refrain people from travelling too far.
Since about 46 percent of households don’t have cars, they don’t get an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of urban green spots. Reports from a green space charity — Fields in Trust claim that almost 2.69 million people in the UK live at a distance of over 10-minute walk from parks. This distance can discourage people from improving their physical activity.
Considering these statistics, the UK government shall invest in more urban green spots, especially in spaces where population is dense. Having a greener environment will not only benefit locals, but also serve the eco — friendly interests of tourists visiting the country in future.