A shortage of green space is one of the biggest problems faced by first-time buyers.
To lead an active lifestyle, families need easy and convenient access to parks, cycleways, and undisturbed natural habitats. But the barriers are clear to see in cities and suburban areas, with traffic congestion in London costing the economy over £5bn every year.
Home builders share the responsibly to improve access to outdoor spaces. Together with local incentives and urban planners, more houses should be built within easy reach of cycle paths and other routes to green spaces.
Whether you’re buying soon or adding family-sized properties to your investment portfolio, it’s worth knowing why green infrastructure is so critical.
Recreational space in residential areas: Why is it so important?
Firstly, access to outdoor space is enormously beneficial for family life. Spending time in nature in nature is known to offer numerous mood-boosting benefits – and when it’s paired with regular exercise, we feel better and get healthier too.
Secondly, people are more likely to exercise if their local area makes it easy to get outside. Walking and cycling fall amongst the most financially accessible forms of exercise for beginners and young people – but our infrastructure needs investment.
There are so many reasons why we need cycle lanes in the UK. They not only reduce congestion, but they’re a cost-effective transport solution too. Local businesses boom with improved access, and above all, nearly eight in ten members of the public want to see more cycle lanes.
How should home builders promote an active lifestyle?
- Pedestrian-friendly designs
Pedestrian-friendly plans should be an integral part of any housing development.
Clear, well-maintained footpath routes not only give a development more structure but provide an easy way for households to connect with friends and neighbours. Crossing points should be added in any development with a road, while external footpaths should be accessible from each property.
- Green spaces and parks
Being around green spaces and open water is associated with improved mental health. The inclusion of parks and fields areas naturally provides residents with more space for cycling, running, and other types of recreational activities.
Many home builders now ensure that new homes promote an active lifestyle by incorporating ponds and green spaces. When connecting households to nature is made a priority, communities see positive and long-lasting environmental, social, and economic outcomes.
- Community engagement
Promoting sport and wellbeing is possible through proactive communication and engagement too. After selling all the homes on a new development, home builders should try to engage with individuals and families in the local community and gain an understanding of their needs.
If the development is just a few miles away from a commuter town, for example, cycle paths could be invaluable. For families with young children, access to parks and playgrounds make a genuine, positive difference.
Ultimately, government policy on infrastructure determines the availability of green spaces in communities, particularly those in urban areas. In the meantime, the efforts made by home builders to boost community engagement and create new green spaces make a valuable contribution.
Making exercise and improved health more accessible is an ongoing priority.