Inaccessibility of green parkland in an urban environment
A 1971 citizen survey in Berkeley, California showed that the great majority of people living in apartments in towns want access to (a) a pleasant, private balcony and (b) a quiet public park within walking distance. Further research showed that walking distance, in effect, means that the park should not be more than 2-3 minute walk away. People who live in close proximity to green parkland use it frequently. Those who live more than a 3 minute walk away do so less frequently in direct proportion to the increase in distance. Since the people who live further away obviously need the relaxation a park brings as much as those who live near, it follows that most urban planning penalizes many city dwellers by not providing enough parks. The same research suggested that an adequate park should be as much as 60,000 square feet in area, and at least 150 feet wide in the narrowest direction, in order to enable people to feel in touch with nature, and away from the hustle and bustle.
The modern technological state has greater need for wilderness than the ancient city state which was surrounded by it. Many of the features of urban cities give rise to a need for sanctuary, for places natural enough to soothe the tensions brought on by urban life and by its regulation of the natural self.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
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