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Public space & the natural environment

  • Public space as an extension of the Natural Environment: Public space is an essential element in the search for greater urban sustainability. Public green areas play a fundamental role in strategies for mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change and help to reduce the risks posed by natural hazards and threats to public health.
  • Mitigate climate change by increasing opportunities and develop the infrastructure required to promote non-carbon based urban transport, particularly walking and cycling. This can lead to improved resilience for cities. Introducing bicycle lanes and platforms better suited to pedestrian traffic can do this. Creating incentives to use other forms of transport will make it possible to improve the quality of urban life, the urban environment and the public health of all local citizens.
  • Public space is a generator of cities as it acts as an integrator between the physical and the natural environment.


EXAMPLE: “Vancouver 2020 : a bright green future”, Canada

In October 2009, the Greenest City Action team released “Vancouver 2020: a bright green future”, an action plan for becoming the world’s greenest city by 2020. This roadmap sets out a long-term vision and 10 goals. It includes recommendations for the city of Vancouver such as its contribution to the protection of endangered species and ecosystems, the wetlands, the streams and the riverbanks but also the implementation of a programme to monitor and control harmful invasive species.  (More information here)