In a recent study, the University of Sheffield examined 68 urban areas in the UK and ranked them according to their availability of parks, sports fields, and greenery. The greenest place in England was discovered to be Exeter, in the county of Devon in Southwest England, followed by the London Borough of Islington, Bournemouth, a tourist destination on England’s southern coast, and Cambridge, which is located about 61 miles north of London.
There were at least 100,000 people living in each of the city centers included in the study, which the authors claim is the first to define and rank metropolitan areas based on various green features. Glasgow, Scotland, came in last on the list, followed by Leeds in Yorkshire, Northern England, and Liverpool, the city where the Beatles’ rock group was founded in 1960.
According to Jake Robinson, the study’s principal researcher, urban greening is thriving these days, which may increase ecotourism, as reported by The Guardian.
According to Robinson, who was quoted by The Guardian, “several of the cities in our analysis are particularly lush and green, which could lead to a growth in urban ecotourism, where people travel to cities to enjoy the wonder of urban nature.” Cities are popular tourist destinations around the world, and they are putting more of a focus on their natural surroundings to attract more visitors. Enhancing our urban green spaces will also draw gorgeous animals. This not only adds to the visiting experience but is essential for preserving biodiversity.
Published in the journal PLOS One, the study is titled Urban center green metrics in Great Britain: A geospatial and socioecological study.
One of the study’s key results was that all of the best city centers were in the south of England, while the cities with the lowest scores were all found in Northern Britain’s erstwhile industrial regions, according to The Guardian.
One of the study’s senior authors, Dr. Paul Brindley of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, told BBC News that the study “clearly highlights the need to urgently improve the greenness of city centers at the bottom of the list, and to ensure that local authorities take action to close the gap.”
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The study, according to the researchers, highlighted disparities in the greenness of urban cores.
According to the study’s authors, disparities in green infrastructure across the nation, together with population and deprivation-related patterns, are crucial for socioecological and social justice. This study serves as a foundation and a catalyst to assist local governments and urban planners in developing and overseeing fair greening interventions in urban/city centers.
According to The Guardian, Amal Ghusain, lead councilor for Exeter’s City Management and Environmental Services, claimed her city benefits from a variety of available green spaces.
According to Husain, who was quoted by The Guardian, we have access to a variety of green open areas, including our six Exeter Valley Parks, which are overseen by Devon Wildlife Trust, sports fields, 1,400 allotments, and a number of leafy cemeteries. We are aware of the value of our parks for mental health, and overall welfare, and supporting our goal of being carbon neutral. Our parks assist to break up the urban nature of the city.
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By planting more than 700 trees, Islington expanded its tree canopy by 25% last year, according to Rowena Champion, executive member of the city council for environment, air quality, and transportation.
Islington is one of the most densely populated local authorities in Britain, and only 13% of the borough’s land is green space. For this reason, Champion added, it’s crucial to make the most of what we have in order to improve everyone’s health results.