Shortly after returning from the Vermont Tiny Home Fest, a friend sent me a New York Times article about “Pop-Up Parks.”
Spending time in nature is one of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being. Yet, according to the EPA, Americans spend 90% of our time indoors. The problem with this is that indoor air is often unhealthy.
The concentration of indoor air pollutants is known to be two to five times more concentrated than outdoor air. Extremely tight buildings are a culprit in some cases. In addition, pollutants come from off-gassing of fabrics, furniture and mattresses, fumes from cleaning products, synthetic building materials, personal care products, pesticides, paints and finishes, and more concentrated dust and dirt. Dampness, mildew and mold, in some environments, also contribute to unhealthy indoor air. Some of the pollutants are carried in from the outside and some originate under specific conditions (such as damp, dark spaces) inside.
According to the EPA, health problems associated with indoor pollution include:
- Eyes, nose, throat irritation
- Headaches, dizziness, fatigue
- Respiratory disease, heart disease and cancer.
Some of the symptoms are also associated with too many EFMs (electromagnetic frequency) in your environment. Our wireless and electronic equipment, such as mobile phones, are a significant source of excess EMFs.
In urban environments, garden space is often limited. Taller buildings and less open space are contributing to higher concentrations of people. One feature of great cities is great parks. However, not everyone has access to a neighborhood park. A solution? Parking spaces are being repurposed as pop-up parks! These instant parks or “parklets” are paid for by the merchants who construct them. Approval from the city is needed. The installments might consume two parking spaces and cost anywhere from $10 -$20k.
In NYC there were 18 pop-up “street seats” this summer, double the number from 2015. The return to participating businesses has been worthwhile with a positive return on investment (ROI). More trees and plants in urban areas has a very positive impact on the population. People are more social and interactive. They are also likely to be happier and healthier. This is an idea worth leveraging in all urban areas.
Read more at: Prime Parking Spaces for People, Not Cars