“Parks are key to good, healthy cities,” Benepe said. “The connection between parks and health is well-established.” A 10-minute walk can enhance physical fitness, reduce the risk of chronic disease and improve brain function, like learning and memory. The 10 minutes it takes to walk back home, not to mention the activity done in between, are a bonus.
“Parks are the key to good public health and to the environmental health of cities,” Benepe said. Hanaa A. Hamdi, the trust’s public health director, says research has shown that community green spaces can reduce violent crime; counter stress and social isolation, especially for older adults; improve concentration for children with attention deficit disorder; enhance relaxation; and promote self-esteem and resilience.