INVESTING IN THE FUTURE
IF WE VALUE IT, WE WILL INVEST IN IT
IF WE FAIL TO INVEST IN IT, YOU COULD LOSE IT
The Parks for Health Initiative is in use by a number of Councils in the UK, who are developing Park Health Strategies for single and multiple parks across their Boroughs. The Initiative also has international application. In addition to demonstrable health benefits for the community, there are further sound reasons to create health promoting parks and green spaces.
National Government and the NHS: Parks and Green Spaces represent an underused, and untapped resource within Primary Prevention. Potential reductions in the cost of clinical interventions justify investment in Parks and Green Spaces for health.
Local Councils: The costs of Adults and Social Care and Mental Health Services increase year on year. Parks provide a context for the Five Ways to Wellbeing.
Charities, Friends Groups and Parish Councils: Parks Audits and Strategies can strengthen the basis for funding bids to improve the health of local communities.
Parks Managers and Maintenance Costs: The full Audit (the Appraisal) identifies opportunities to reduce the impacts of climate change, to increase tree planting and to enhance Biodiversity. The creation of natural habitats can deliver reductions in the cost of ongoing maintenance, releasing capital for further enhancement to Parks and Green Spaces, and encouraging insects and other wildlife.
Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and Social Prescribing: Social Prescribing has been demonstrated to reduce pressure on local GP Surgeries and deliver lasting health benefits to patients. The Parks for Health Audits identify opportunities to optimise Parks and Green Spaces for Social Prescribing.
Developers: New Build and Refurbishment: The obligation to create sustainable developments is set by Planning Guidance and Policy. This brings a responsibility to developers to proactively create health promoting places and spaces. Financial contributions associated with development can also be used for health promoting projects and services.
It has also been found that high quality Green Space can have a positive impact on house prices, and that those selecting a new home can be influenced by the quality of local parks and green spaces.
Professionals and Companies: Designing for health and delivering products and services for health, represent new business opportunities. The Health Audits and Strategies provide a basis for better health based design, and identify products and services required by developers, Local Authorities, Parks Managers and Friend Groups to enhance their Green Spaces for health.