The Surprising Benefit of Pop-Up Parks to Bio-Diversity

A new study finds that interim recreational use of underutilized sections of crowded cities can benefit more than just humans.

July 8, 2019, 11:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Pop-Up Park

friends of the Earth Scotland / Flickr

Adina Solomon shares news of research recently published in the Environment International journal that finds evidence of the health, social, and environmental benefits of urban green space, and makes the case for interventions that create new urban green space, even if just temporarily.

Solomon explains:

Sometimes, cities lack large greenspace not only for people but for wildlife — the insects, birds and other animals that make for a balanced ecosystem.

One answer to this issue? Pop-up parks, according to a new study examining their effects on biodiversity.

Luis Mata, ecologist with the People, Nature, Place research program at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University’s Centre for Urban Research, and team examined the Grasslands, a six-week park in Melbourne.

"Like many pop-up parks, Grasslands is not what many people envision when they think of greenspace," according to Solomon. But the park showed significant biodiversity in its insect and spider population, which means benefits for pollination and nutrient cycling.

To further exemplify some of the concepts and outcomes under examination by Mata's research, Solomon also cites the example of the Pop-Up Urban Park in Wichita, Kansas.

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