REIMAGINGING THE PURPOSE OF PARKS
Waminda Parker, Miles Holmes
Its not just a walk in the park – Connecting to nature is the key to supercharge wellbeing benefits
COVID-19 has triggered our need to make existing public spaces work harder and provide greater health and wellbeing benefits. Psychological research shows that connecting with nature is much better than spending time in nature*.
A Living Lab was established at Macquarie University in early 2020 to understand how to supercharge the mental and wellbeing benefits of connecting with nature. The findings of the Living Lab are transformational and can be applied to existing national parks and new green spaces for all Sydneysiders. From pocket and national parks to health infrastructure, the solutions are evidence-based, low cost, effective and scalable.
The Connective will improve green and blue spaces to create Wellbeing Zones and/or Wellbeing Experiences designed for purpose eg: to reduce stress levels, improve mood and reduce anxiety. The self-selected experiences will deepen the users understanding of their mental health & wellbeing. Today people monitor their step count, tomorrow Sydneysider’s will monitor their wellbeing progress during a Wellbeing Experience in our existing parks.
How to supercharge wellbeing and create a better life for all Sydneysiders?
1. CONSULT deeply understand community needs and complete a nature wellness assessment.
2.DESIGN & BUILD a proven combination of Nature Nudges into the landscape.
3. FUN, INFORMATIVE SMART TECH SMART TECH connects the Nature Nudges to the Wellbeing App. The user self-selects the experience based on availability/ location/ mood/ preference of activities, shares the experience, and monitors progress.