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Are Urban Green Spaces Worth It?

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Urban greenspaces

In partnership with the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures

The creation of urban greenspaces is in conflict with other land uses. But with an increasing urban population they are seen by many as being necessary for mental and physical health, as well as supporting biodiversity. Are urban green spaces a good use of limited land space? And do the services they provide outweigh the need for more housing?

The event brings together a panel of cross disciplinary speakers, whose work focuses on the multiple benefits of greenspaces to people. It aims to create a space for open, honest dialogue and discussion between urban green infrastructure stakeholders, and highlight some of the different organisations involved in urban green space research from charities and healthcare to academia. The debate will give an insight into the complexities of decision making regarding the creation and management of our urban green spaces.

Co-chairs for this event will be Bethany Leake - PhD student, School of Biosciences, The University of Sheffield, and Tom Siddall - PhD student, Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield.

Miriam is the Green Space for Health outreach officer at the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare. Her work focuses on improving the health and wellbeing of NHS staff and patients using greenspaces, through a range of projects including the NHS Forest.

Previously, she worked at the University of Sheffield researching public health and urban food production, following the completion of her PhD on the environmental and social benefits of allotment gardening.

Vassilis is a PhD student in Land Economy at the University of Cambridge and an Economist at WWF-UK. His research explores the social and economic impacts of conservation policies on local communities in terms of the benefits and implications of access to protected areas. Vassilis’s research extends beyond the world of academia. He has conducted research with government departments and global research institutions.

Nicola’s work examines how relevant policies, strategies and political rhetoric are implemented in and experienced by urban green and open spaces users. This is conceptualised as place-keeping: the long-term management of our open green spaces. This involves exploring innovative approaches to designing and managing open green space while securing its long-term future by getting the right people, funding and policies in place.

Part of our 2023 festival strand


How can we respond to the climate crisis and biosphere collapse?