Our parks and open spaces are not amenities, they are necessities, providing recreation, inspiration, and essential respite from the city’s blare and bustle.
They are egalitarian resources available to all of the city’s residents, especially those who do not have gardens or the resources to escape to the countryside.
They are essential for enhancing quality of life, through promoting the general health of the population, as the World Health Organisation has shown.
They promote physical activity and reduce stress levels.
Through breaking down isolation, they strengthen our communities, and make our cities and neighbourhoods more inclusive and attractive places to live and work.
Our green space in urban areas provides substantial environmental benefits.
Reducing air pollution and water pollution, they help keep cities cooler, and they are a more effective and less expensive way to manage storm water run-off than building systems of concrete sewers and drainage ditches.
Here in Sheffield we are fortunate to have some of the UKs finest parks and open spaces to rest, play and have fun in.
This includes Richmond Park, High Hazels, Manor Park Fields, Firth Park, Millhouses, Weston Park and Endcliffe Park, to name a few.
We have two fabulous adventure playgrounds where children can actively be involved in environmental explorative play, Highfields in Sharrow and Pitsmoor Adventure Playground in Burngreave.
There are some amazing spaces where you can go for walks, including Grenoside and Ecclesall woods and in the city centre we have functional open spaces like Devonshire Green, the Peace Gardens and Tudor Square.
The programme of city events in our parks and open spaces are second to none, ensuring that wider opportunities to have fun and celebrate are brought annually to our city.
Cities are facing severe budget crises and some have been slashing their park spending.
Let’s hope Sheffield continues to invest in our green spaces through diverse investment streams.