And because it is nearly impossible to carve out more Central Parks in dense cities across the country, linear parks are an excellent way to add green space to urban areas. Their long and winding shape can provide greater access to parks for more residents.
In 2006, California voters approved Proposition 84, a bond measure authorizing $5.4 billion in spending on projects to improve parks, natural resource protection, and water quality, safety, and supply. Most of that money has now been spent.
Biodiversity also exists in many other places. More than half of the people on Earth live in cities, and that number is growing, so it is especially important to understand how biodiversity patterns occur in our man-made environments.
According to a research report by the Forestry Commission, investments in green space have a positive impact on constituent components such as job creation, new business start-ups and private investment.
Exposure to natural environments lowers stress, including its physiological correlates the “stress hormone” cortisol, heart rate, and blood pressure, and even just the sounds of nature trigger a relaxation response in the brain.
Without human intervention, many of the region’s beautiful beaches may disappear by 2100 as sea levels rise. If the Golden State wants to save its golden shores, it will have to add sand to them—and lots of it.
Raven-Ellison’s home isn’t the mountains—it’s London, a city founded in 43 AD, a metropolis today of almost nine million people, with 14,000 of them, on average, living in each square mile. Raven-Ellison is lobbying for the entire city to be declared a National Park.
Even in large, gritty cities such as New York and Berlin, these urban commons connect us to each other and to the land, water, plants, and animal life of our home. We experience what it means to belong to something larger, to be welcome simply because we are alive.
In Santa Monica, a flat, sprawling 7.4-acre parking lot became a green park with meadows and rolling hills. In Chicago, an unused parking lot next to a former movie theater will become a park. In the nearby suburb of Aurora, overflow parking for a shopping mall may also become a park. In Washington D.C., parking lots next to the unused RFK Stadium may become sports fields and a food market.
One type of beetle could kill as many as 27 million trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, including parts of the desert. Trees that shade, cool and feed people from Ventura County to the Mexican border are dying so fast that within a few years it’s possible the region will look, feel, sound and smell much less pleasant than it does now.