Being in the great outdoors can be a great remedy for the slew of issues you may be facing in your day-to-day life. It's scientifically proven that it is one of the best things that you can do for your physical, mental and emotional health.
I love going on long walks in some of the few open green spaces that exist where I live. It's a calming experience being able to immerse myself in nature and escape from the real world for a little while. Nature is an escape that I wish I could venture into more often.
Another beneficial thing about green spaces is that they're a natural resource in the fight against pollution, which is a problem our society is struggling to overcome. Green spaces increase air circulation and break down pollutants making our planet a cleaner place to live.
Unfortunately, recent reports have shown that parks and open spaces in big and populous European cities have reached potentially hazardous levels of air pollution. Data science company ASI released a report which revealed that a number of London parks exceeded the EU's limit on the maximum amount of air pollution that is acceptable according to its guidelines.
ASI’s Pablo Mosteiro hopes that the findings will inform those who believe that open spaces are safe, clean havens that the air that you inhale in these parks isn't necessarily a great deal healthier. He explains:
"Huge numbers of Londoners are unknowingly going for walks, playing with their children and having their lunchtime sandwich in open spaces with appalling air quality. Our new website will allow them to see whether there are any better and cleaner alternatives nearby.”
The chief executive of ASI, Marc Warner, added:
“The city's parks are often referred to as the ‘lungs of London'. We now know that these lungs aren't as healthy as we'd hoped. The new Mayor is going to have to prioritise clean air policies so that we can make our parks and open spaces the healthy places they're meant to be.”
These findings are worrying because they seem to undermine our belief that open spaces contain very low levels of pollution.
Fear not though environmentalists because I have some good news which may make these recent findings a little easier to swallow. EFFEKT, an architecture studio, has designed a colossal and impressive walkway in a Danish forest to allow hikers and tourists to climb 45 meters upwards, where they are confronted with stunning views, and it gets even better...