Two-thirds of city dwellers wish there were more green spaces in their area

The most miserable day of the year, Blue Monday, falls tomorrow (January 16) – and one in five Brits living in cities have said they feel isolated by the lack of greenery around where they live.

A poll of 2,000 adults, dwelling in cities or urban areas, found two-thirds wish they had more nature nearby –including trees (43%), flower beds (38%), and grass (36%).

But almost half (43%) feel there is just too little ground-level space available where they live – leaving 26% feeling demotivated.

More than three-quarters of those polled (78%) believe better access to greenery would improve their mental wellbeing.

And 67% would even consider moving to the countryside, or a greener suburb, in order to be around nature more.

More than half (51%) feel there is not enough investment in urban greening – and 57% would be happy to see more vertical greenery, such as living walls where plants grow up the side of buildings, to utilise the space available in cities.

The research found that those in Liverpool crave greenery the most, with nine in ten wanting to see more of it in their city.

And Brighton residents are most keen to have more green roof terraces on their buildings (42%), while those in Birmingham would like more trees in their city (53%).

Meanwhile, those in Coventry are the most content with their access to the great outdoors, instead wanting to see more indoor plants in workplaces and public spaces (52%).

The research was commissioned by Biotecture, whose managing director, Richard Sabin, said: “Having access to green space shouldn’t just be a bonus when it comes to living in a city – everyone should be able to easily enjoy nature.

“It’s no surprise people feel demotivated and isolated if they don’t have access to greenery – whether that’s at their place of work, where they live, or where they socialise.

“But it’s true cities can lack the space, which is why vertical living walls can be a great solution.”

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The majority of city dwellers (79%) enjoy living in an urban place, thanks to the convenience, career opportunities, and social life.

But of those who would consider a move to a greener area, 40% would do so to seek cleaner air, while 39% would like a calmer life, more space (34%), and to be able to get outside more (32%), according to the study carried out via OnePoll.

However, 62% would consider staying in a metropolitan environment if there was more investment in urban greening.

The key benefits of living around plenty of greenery were considered to be having cleaner air (47%) and more wildlife (45%).

Richard Sabin added: “The countryside has its draws, but it’s easy to see why people love living an urban life.

“Plants and greenery can make our cities healthier, happier, and more resilient to climate change.

“It’s clear people can enjoy many of the benefits associated with more rural living, whilst enjoying everything our cities have to offer, if we prioritise and invest in urban greening.”

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