UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Greening Blocks: A Conceptual Typology of Practical Design Interventions to Integrate Health and Climate Resilience Co-Benefits Barron, Sara; Nitoslawski, Sophie; Wolf, Kathleen L.; Woo, Angie; Desautels, Erin; Sheppard, S. R. J. (Stephen Richard John), 1952-


It is increasingly evident that exposure to green landscape elements benefits human health. Urban green space in cities is also recognized as a crucial adaptation response to changes in climate and its subsequent effects. The exploration of conceptual and practical intersections between human health, green spaces, and climate action is needed. Evidence-based guidance is needed for stakeholders, practitioners, designers, and citizens in order to assess and manage urban green spaces that maximize co-benefits for both human health and climate resilience. This paper proposes interventions that provide strategic green space enhancement at the neighborhood and block scale. We propose eight tangible green space interventions and associated metrics to integrate climate resilience and population health co-benefits into urban green space design and planning: View from within, Plant entrances, Bring nature nearby, Retain the mature, Generate diversity, Create refuge, Connect experiences, and Optimize green infrastructure. These interventions represent a hierarchy of functional design concepts that respond to experiential qualities and physical/psychological dimensions of health, and which enhance resilience at a range of social scales from the individual to the neighborhood. The interventions also reveal additional research needs in green space design, particularly in neighborhood-level contexts.

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