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DELIVERING PARKS AS HEALTH ASSETS

"IT IS POSSIBLE TO KNOW THE COST OF EVERYTHING, BUT THE VALUE OF NOTHING"

Parks* and Open Spaces can be seen as a cost, or valued for their contribution to the health and wellbeing of society. 

 

the assessment model

“Health Parks” is a registered Trademark providing brand recognition for the Parks for Health Initiative. It bring together health and wellbeing, the environment and biodiversity enhancement with a single assessment model. This allows decisions about and investments in local Parks and Open Spaces to be made based upon objective assessment, rather than subjective opinion. Each of these criteria (health, biodiversity and the environment) are supported by political commitment and legal requirements across national and local government. The Parks for Health Model allows each criterion to be measured, and improvements demonstrated through objective assessment. Based upon such assessments and related usage, the real economic value of Parks and Green Spaces can be determined. Click on “The Health Parks App”above, for more information.

 

PROMOTING COMMUNITY HEALTH AND WELLBEING

Scientific evidence support the use of appropriately designed Parks to provide a number of important health benefits:

  • Reduced all cause morbidity

  • Reduced prevalence in avoidable conditions and co-morbidities related to Obesity, CHD, Type 2 Diabetes, Strokes, some Cancers.

  • Improving Mental Wellbeing: Alleviating Stress, Anxiety and Depression, Dementia.

  • Strengthening Social Capital and cohesion.

  • As a context for Health Promotion

  • Mitigating Environmental Risk Factors and medical conditions related to Noise, Pollution, flooding, UV Radiation and temperature extremes.

  • Enhancing biodiversity is important in itself, it has also been demonstrated through research that an increase in biodiversity is linked to improved health.

  • Numerous economic benefits.

 

THE VALUE

It has been estimated that in the UK Parks, Open Spaces and the Natural Environment save the Exchequer around £111 million per year based solely on a reduction in GP visits. Aggregated across the UK an estimated £34.2 billion worth of wellbeing benefits per year are delivered by frequent use of parks and green spaces. (Fields in Trust: Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces 2018).

 

THE HEALTH PARKS APP

The Parks for Health Assessments are online, survey based assessment models. Two Parks for Health Assessments are available. These are (i) The Free Basic Audit. This allows a basic health assessment of a Park or Green Space, identifying through a series of charts the current health status and potential for improvement. (ii) The Premium Audit, Evaluation and Strategy. These are costed reports which can be used to identify, at increasing levels of detail, elements related to Health Promotion, Accessibility, Mental Wellbeing and Physical Activity, as well as environmental factors and biodiversity.

 

THE HEALTH PARKS STRATEGY FRAMEWORK

Valuing Parks and Open Spaces for their contribution to the prevention of ill-health, working with Parks Departments, the Framework allows the integrated participation of Public Health, Social Prescribing, Employers, Charities and Local Community Groups, to promote health and wellbeing across the community through the use and development of health based Parks and Open Spaces.

 

for more information on the health assessment models please send us a message

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*Parks and Open Spaces can include the wider natural environment, green infrastructure, Linear Parks to Metropolitan Parks, Local Open Spaces and smaller Pocket Parks. At Health Parks, we are passionate about improving the health and wellbeing of our communities. We bring together qualifications and experience in Public Health and Landscape Design and Management to enable you to deliver health promoting Parks and Open Spaces.