for a quick no obligation quote call
    020 8930 5668 or enquire using the form below

    Green space in the city is a privilege

    With claims of London being one of the ‘greenest’ cities, we can often be spoilt for choice over which park to visit. The city’s parks have undoubtedly seen an uptake in visitors over the past year, as we were desperate to get out of our homes, with few other places to go.

    Daily walks and forcing yourself outdoors became crucial parts of our days. One of the small things we could do to help our physical and mental health, during what felt like world chaos.

    A New Introduction

    I’m new to the team at EAL Consult and a recent graduate in urban sustainability. Having been a student and new graduate throughout the pandemic, I simply didn’t have the budget to rent somewhere with a garden (even properties with balconies are charged at a premium).

    When I moved in before the pandemic, my housemates and I barely gave it a second thought. We were saving money by not having a balcony and we’re never really at home anyway, right?





    Cue the pandemic and suddenly I found myself living alone, in a flat with no outside space. I was in the middle of completing my thesis, during what was a globally overwhelming time and the only thing keeping me sane was my daily walks around the local park. The park itself was nothing special, but I had never really appreciated how important it is to have access to the outdoors, to not be trapped within 4 walls.

    And I’m sure this was the case for a lot of people, particularly in a cities like London where so many of us live in rented apartments. Parks became our little escapes.

    Outside Space and Wellbeing

    No doubt we can all agree on how important it is to spend time outdoors, even medical professionals have begun engaging with ‘green social prescribing’ due to its noticeable health benefits.

    But what about those who were suddenly told they shouldn’t leave the house? Those who were shielding whilst living in a flat with no outdoors. The concept of public space becomes seemingly irrelevant if you are someone with a compromised immune system who shouldn’t be around other people.








    For some, you might only have to walk through your living room to reach some green space and for those lucky enough to have gardens, this may have become a little safe haven, free from the threat of the virus ‘outside’.

    Yet, for a significant amount of Londoners, public space is all there is. Green space in the city is a privilege.


    I wonder if now we have this renewed love for parks and going for walks no matter the weather, if the way we perceive public and private green space will shift.

    Understandably, space in urban areas is a scarce resource and it’s unrealistic to think every urban resident can have a garden. But perhaps rather than seeing ‘outdoor space’ as empty land waiting to be developed, we can acknowledge how important these spaces are in creating well-functioning, happy cities.










    I think ‘urban greening’ can often be seen as a tick box exercise; must include X amount of green space or, maybe if we made that garden a bit smaller we could make Y building bigger. If we place so much emphasis on outside being good for you, why do we continue to develop and build in ways that provide no outside space for residents?

    The shift we have experienced from COVID-19 will have a long-lasting effect on how we live and where we spend our time, with increasingly blurred lines between living and working spaces, alongside a stronger focus on health and wellbeing.

    I hope that we can move forwards in our design and developments, to think about the wellbeing of these residents. We are living in an unpredictable world where climate change is causing extreme weather and increased likelihood of pandemics. I hope that those of us in positions to shape the physical realm, can prioritise wellbeing and outside space. So we can at least be confident that, if history repeats itself, urban environments can support their residents through turbulence.


    Images Source

    Designed by Freepik

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *