The local park - publicly-funded and open to everyone - is an American democratic idea that began nearly 200 years ago and has spread around the world. Today, that idea is as powerful as ever. Parks are once again being looked at as antidotes to urban ills as more people now live in urban areas than rural ones. A growing base of scientific evidence offers support for the role of parks in promoting health and well-being. This is the message that Rob Layton, FASLA, one of the founding Principals of Design Concepts presented to the Southern Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculturists at their 74th Annual Conference and Trade Show in Knoxville recently.
As stewards of the urban forest, arboriculturists at the conference were interested in hearing how trees and other vegetation within parks and public spaces contribute to physical, emotional, social, ecological, and economic well-being. Rob’s presentation included specific measures and practices that can be used to assure that healthful green space is available to everyone in the built environment.