10th August 2020

Velocity is a self-professed celebration of ‘People, Property and bikes’. Growing up around the appetite for all things cycling within the built environment, each edition of Velocity seeks to explore how the two-wheeled commute or past-time is being facilitated within our cities, towns, road-scapes or buildings.

A great location therefore, for us to celebrate the value of green and the contribution it makes to millions of urban dwelling cyclists. We were delighted to be interviewed by David Taylor, for their latest edition and he has done an excellent job in explaining how we seek to demonstrate physical health and wellbeing value of green – for every visitor to urban greenspace.

Robin Smale sets out in the article how ‘cities have high-level strategies for local authorities to try and achieve. Healthy populations, greater equality of opportunity and effective transportation infrastructure; and the work we’re doing speaks to all these things.’

‘We believe it can breakdown the fiefdoms between green spaces, transport and health’ adds John Haxworth. ‘If you try and address all of these individually, even if your budgets are adequate, you’re missing the more sophisticated approach of working together. And achieving, multiple targets with one piece of investment.’

But what of cyclists? ‘There is a clear public benefit in allowing cyclists to route through green spaces and increasing the value of public parks is a good thing,’ says Smale. ‘This allows us to have a dialogue with the likes of the Royal Parks who don’t currently allow cycling.

In this specific article we compared Battersea Park with Wormwood Scrubs. Two of London’s best known green spaces, yet they perform very differently. The social value they deliver to their local communities, as shown below, is vastly different due, amongst other things, to what is on offer and how well connected they are into their surrounding communities.

Battersea ParkWormwood Scrubs
Size80ha69ha
Annual predicted Visits (pa)2,000,000207,730
Well-being Value (pa)£30,000,000+ £3,000,000
Physical Health Value (pa)£16,000,000+£1,600,000
Carbon Sequestration (pa)£12,700£4,000

Data extracted from the online Greenkeeper tool, for Battersea Park and Wormwood Scrubs; July 2020

We believe Greenkeeper can play a huge part in demonstrating the value uplift possible through improvement. When green spaces deliver a true ‘infrastructure network’ which enhances accessibility and opportunities for safe active travel. We know that immersion in green is good for your wellbeing. What if your whole commute could be facilitated through green infrastructure? You will be setting yourself up for the day, never mind, avoiding the air pollution and dangers of road commuting for cyclists. For recreational cyclists, easier access from urban heartland, out into the countryside, through green corridors would be a huge boon too, and may encourage more to indulge in this fabulous pastime.

Reading 2050 IDR Park: Part of the future vision for Reading imagines an inner distribution road transformed into a park with integrated cycle infrastructure.

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