How urban parks support both biodiversity and human health
My latest for KneeDeep Times covers a new report from SFEI that highlights the link between plant and animal life and human health in urban parks and green spaces. I see this as a cutting-edge, holistic perspective on environmental health and urban design that avoids the trap of reducing public parks to being just for humans (with an emphasis or recreation or "ecosystem services") or "just" for animals (zoos, "wilderness," etc.) by using a rigorous literature review to demonstrate that when it comes to green spaces in urban environments, what's good for humans is good for wildlife, and vice versa. In my view, this deserves to be a central tenet of urban design and landscape architecture everywhere they're practiced. For instance, in my one-acre yard in semi-rural Sonoma County, I use drought-tolerant native plants and principles from permaculture to provide habitat and food for native insects and animals, improve soil health, slow and absorb rainwater, purify the air, provide shade, and create natural beauty that's simply nice to look at. Read the full story here.