Guidance for Urban watercourses
Green is good for us
The benefits of nature to people's stress-levels and mental health in general is well documented. More recently, studies have shown that the impact of nature and green areas have significant health benefits for wider society. These include improvements in community well-being, recreation, recovery from serious illness and reduced anti-social behaviour. Studies have even found a reduction in violent crime rates in greener areas.
The incorporation of the Riparian Buffer Zone and the restored river into a network of linear parks, walks and cycle routes in the urban environment is a logical progression as the riparian buffer should provide some of the green space needed. Walking is now the most popular outdoor activity in Ireland, and schemes such as the Slí na Slàinte offer ways to manage such routes effectively.
Rivers offer an ideal opportunity to develop waymarked walks in urban areas (away from hazardous traffic) which are not only safe, but have high visual and acoustic appeal. This must be an important consideration for urban planning, as obesity (in particular childhood obesity) has been identified as one of the biggest health threats in Ireland today. The design of the walk and green spaces can be planned on a site by site basis, but ideally should preserve and compliment the longitudinal riparian corridor.”
Extract from Inland Fisheries Ireland “Planning for Watercourses in the Urban Environment”
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