Green Spaces

People enjoying a sunny day on a green lawn with pink lawn chairs and colorful bird mural in background in Boston, Massachusetts.

Why Social Infrastructure Matters

The pandemic highlighted the importance of parks and public spaces for maintaining both the physical and mental health of urban residents.

November 19, 2023 - The Boston Globe

View of concrete schoolyard in New York City through fence

How Green Schoolyards Benefit Kids, Cities, and the Climate

Transforming asphalt schoolyards into green spaces with porous surfaces can improve the well-being of students and neighbors and contribute to more effective stormwater management in urban areas.

January 30, 2023 - Next City

Parent and child walking, holding hands on mixed-use trail with trees

The Benefits of Walking in Urban Green Spaces

A new study by researchers in Virginia found that walking in a quiet urban setting with shade and greenery can significantly improve mood and reduce stress.

January 17, 2023 - VCU News

Garden with bee houses labeled 'bee hotel' and scarecrow

How Pollinators Fight Warming Cities

Researchers are starting to understand how urban bee populations can support healthy green spaces and reduce the urban heat island effect.

October 11, 2022 - Wired

Los Angeles State Historic Park

Documenting L.A.'s Reclaimed Industrial Sites

Community activists across the city have fought to clean up, preserve, and enhance former industrial sites as parks, community gardens, and green spaces.

July 13, 2021 - High Country News

Chicago Dog Park

Boston Leaders Want A Dog Park in Every Neighborhood

City leaders want to build more off-leash dog parks, partly as a response to the trend of "pandemic puppies" that has led to a sharp spike in urban dog ownership.

February 24, 2021 - The Boston Globe


The Undeniable Link Between Redlining and Extreme Heat in American Cities

The country’s history of racist and segregationist housing policies is affecting vulnerable low-income communities of color that are bearing the brunt of climate change impacts.

August 26, 2020 - The New York Times


Staying Healthy During the Pandemic

Local parks and green spaces that enable safe social distancing have never been more important to people living in cities. The Trust for Public Land has released a new report showing their importance and the challenges they are facing.

August 4, 2020 - The Washington Post

New York City Park

Report: New York City Public Parks Under Stress Due to Budget Cuts and Lack of Private Funding

The private non-profit organizations that support half of New York City's public parks anticipate up to a 60% decrease in funding at a time when people rely on parks more than ever before.

May 18, 2020 - The Architect's Newspaper

Cheonggyecheon Daylighting

Lessons in Equitable Urban River Restoration

As more cities "daylight" the rivers and waterways formerly interred underground to culverts and stormdrains, a process for ensuring community leadership and equitable outcomes is also coming to light.

March 6, 2020 - Nonprofit Quarterly

Children Playing

Urban Planning Insights From Your Inner Child (or Your Actual Child)

Los Angeles County park planner and parent Clement Lau writes about how 'playing' and parenting has given him insight into the urban environment that he applies in his profession.

February 12, 2018 - UrbDeZine

Klyde Warren Park

Op-Ed: Tech Can Enhance Parks

In the traditional view, nature and digital technology clash. But for many people, tech can offer ways to better engage with parks.

March 29, 2016 - KCET

Kid on Bus

Public Transit May Boost Mental Health

A new study based on an analysis of the residents of Turin, Italy, a city of over 900,000, reveals that walkable access to public transit and urban services benefits mental health, particularly for women and seniors.

December 4, 2015 - CityLab

Rooftop Solar Panels

Seattle Eco-District Fosters Green Development

In a bid to knit sustainability into large-scale community development, Seattle's Capitol Hill EcoDistrict is exploring several avenues toward greener land use.

April 12, 2015 - ASLA The Dirt

Central Park - Manhattan, New York

Urban Green Spaces Will Make You Happier than Winning the Lottery

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology finds that moving to a more-green area can have a long-lasting positive effect on mental health, unlike the short-term jolt from pay rises, promotions or winning the lottery.

January 15, 2014 - BBC News

Studying the Psychology of Sacred Green Spaces

Over 20 years, the TKF Foundation has funded the creation of dozens of “green refuges from the stresses of modern life”. With $4.5 million in funding for six new projects, they’re out to prove the physical and psychological benefits of such spaces.

July 6, 2013 - The Atlantic Cities

Nature Essential to Counteract Modern Life

Richard Louv says we're drowning in a "sea of circuitry" and in desperate need to reconnect with greenery and nature in our living spaces to sooth our souls.

October 15, 2011 -

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The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.