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Linda Romanovska | The essential value of nature

Illustration of urban and natural environments intersecting

Research consistently shows that we are ready to pay considerably more just to live in greener neighbourhoods or closer to a patch of nature in a city.

Linda Romanovska

During lockdown we saw streets, shops and offices deserted. But our parks, beaches and natural spaces were brimming with people taking in the fresh air and the beauty of the open green space. Being allowed out in nature was and still is seen as a fundamental right, even in places with strict distancing measures. It was readily perceived by those in governments as crucial to keep populations physically and mentally healthy during an extraordinarily challenging time. Yet, despite this, our urban developments have increasingly pushed out the green – replacing it with concrete, asphalt and sealed surfaces. Considering the multitude of benefits nature provides cities, why is it so hard to add more green to our urban fabric?

Linda Romanovska is a PhD candidate with UNSW Built Environment. Her research explores the best ways to assess the full value of living green infrastructure to optimise its many benefits to urban communities. Romanovska advises the European Union and other international, national and local agencies on adaptation to climate change planning, funding and implementation.

Twitter: @LindaRomanovska

A UNSW Centre for Ideas and Grand Challenges program collaboration.

Illustrations designed by Juune Lee. Filmed and edited by Paper Moose. Footage filmed at the EPICentre, a UNSW research centre located at the Art & Design campus.