Wondering what's in store for our beloved local green spaces? A trio of experts has the forecast.
Sandra James is a landscape architect and greenways planner for the city
of Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Baby boomers will comprise 20 percent of the population by 2030. And with 67 percent of the American adult population overweight or obese, designing green spaces to walk to and through is key to maintaining physical activity and medical and mental health. We need to stop thinking of nature as places in our parks and legibly spill those ecological components into our city streets and spaces to create usable walkable park environments in everyday places.”
Janette Sadik-Khan is the commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.
“The future of public space is in our streets. From the Bronx Hub to Times Square and downtown Brooklyn, we are transforming traffic lanes into vibrant, signature places. It can start with a few planters, some benches, and a paintbrush to create a balanced and attrac-tive world-class street that invites people to stop and take in the city. As cities grapple with how to balance their limited space, it’s the spaces in between buildings that will become the new living rooms.”
Landscape architect Richard Haag is the founder of Seattle’s Richard Haag & Associates and professor emeritus at the University of Washington.
“The epidemic of declining tree canopy in American cities has reached a critical stage; a crisis is looming. Cities are losing four mature trees for each one planted, and in Seattle, about 25 percent of the tree canopy vanished over the past 30 years. The answer is to establish a green canopy of trees branching over the open spaces between buildings, and between the sidewalk and the street.”