In The Carbon Efficient City, Hurd and Hurd, emphasizes the importance of nature within compact urban environments in the Spaces for Nature chapter. They reference Bill Reed’s excellent point that a person is less likely to change their behavior to lower emissions impacts if they do not have a connection to nature. When we have a direct connection to nature we better understand that our actions can result in the decline of these natural systems. While this is a great point, the importance of nature within urban environments goes beyond making the connection between nature and our carbon footprints. Nature is essential to our quality of life.
In this day and age it is especially pertinent to integrate nature into our cities to benefit our younger generations that spend a great deal of time interfacing with technology instead of the outside environment. Coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods, nature deficit disorder is the lack of nature in children’s lives that can have symptoms such as obesity, attention disorders, and depression. In addition natural play for children inspires creativity and requires children to think outside the box. While technology can be a powerful tool for innovation it can sometimes hinder creativity and require less-intensive problem-solving skills. Instead of thinking outside the box, we Google the solution.
As climate change continues to be an issue that our society struggles with it will be this younger generation that needs to continue effective solutions, but also challenge and identify new innovative solutions to the issue. Incorporating nature into our city encourages this connection to nature and can better ensure that our younger generation will be creative and develop problem-solving skills through natural play.