The benefits of urban green space for city residents has long been recognised. Indeed, in the UK, the impetus for the development of urban parks in the mid-1800s was specifically to benefit the public's health. More recently, the potential impacts on physical and mental health (both directly and indirectly) have become major drivers of the developing blue-green infrastructure strategies for many modern cities. However, there have been a number of questions raised about how easy it is to access green space for all communities and individuals. Factors associated with accessibility include the location and physical configuration of urban green space, including both real and perceived risks such as personal safety. In addition, it is becoming clear that access to natural environments has a cultural dimension and urban green space such as parks are no exception to this. The presentation will examine the current state of knowledge in the UK, where the park movement began and has more recently been revitalised. The cultural implications of green space development will be explored in the context of large modern cities. Implications for the design and development of blue-green infrastructure in Qatar will be discussed in the light of current UK developments.


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