Creatively built green spaces need to form part of the future of city planning.
We are at a moment when humans around the globe are seeking socially distanced solace in open-air spaces and, out of the awfulness of the pandemic, we have at least more deeply understood and appreciated the importance - both mentally and physically - of green spaces.
“If we really want to incorporate nature in [city building], then we have to mimic nature” says Dror Benshetrit, an Israeli inventor and designer. “Sustainability is basically saying I did a bit better than the guy that was here before me. The future is designing for ecological harmony.”
And why not make them exciting and inspiring. One of Benshetrit's projects is Parkorman, just north of Istanbul (pictured below). It's an area replete with hammocks and swings above the park floor, giant ball pits, a water installation, and an elevated footpath which incorporate trampolines.
Benshetrit says he's intent on "stopping urban sprawl as we know it by building communities with nature and like nature to improve the wellbeing of all life."
Similar inspirational ventures are soon going to be popping up elsewhere. Little Island, the futuristic-looking floating island park at Pier 55 (pictured below) on New York City's Hudson River will also include outdoor performance spaces. It's set to open in the spring of 2021.
Copenhagen is also getting a 'parkipelago' (pictured below) right in its city centre. It’ll be a series of man-made islands or floating parks available for anyone to use for relaxing, swimming (yep, the urban waterways in Denmark's capital are that clean), boating, stargazing and even farming. According to the Copenhagen Islands project designers, the islands will create ‘swim zones, floating saunas, floating gardens, floating mussel farms and a floating sail-in café, all free to be explored by the increasing number of kayaks, sailors, GoBoaters, tourists and fishermen in the harbour.’
So perhaps the silver lining of the pandemic will be exactly what Benshetrit hopes for humanity: embracing the beauty of carefully constructed green spaces. It's just a shame that London's garden bridge was scrapped.