As employees return to offices, students to schools and the public to social venues, the need for safe and confidence-inspiring natural spaces is more important than ever.
Healthy outdoor spaces will be in the spotlight as our cities return to ‘business as usual.’ Also, people will return with a renewed appreciation for outdoor space. After months of lockdown, many of us have relied on time outdoors and physical exercise to escape. Whether that be taking up running or cycling, or maybe just ensuring we’ve been for a walk each day.
Given this, we can expect people to be open to creative ways of working when they return to the office. As a result, many companies are introducing outdoor spaces. Designing them specifically for a new era of outdoor-centric, open-air working and learning.
Why healthy outdoor space matters
It’s a well proven fact that being outdoors and in nature has an enormous beneficial impact on our well-being and mental health. By contrast, according to a recent survey by Design Council, physical inactivity alone is responsible for one in six UK deaths. That’s equal to the amount of deaths caused by smoking. Also, it’s estimated to cost the UK £7.4 billion annually. Additionally, behaviour patterns are responsible for 40% of the cause of premature death in the UK. An evidence review by Public Health England substantiates the theory that suggests improved physical and mental health supported with neighbourhood designs that enable:
Physical activity: To increase walkability in buildings and neighbourhoods, encouraging healthy modes of transport
Healthy food: To improve access to healthier foods
Social contact: To design well-connected housing and neighbourhoods that provide access to facilities and amenities to reduce social isolation and loneliness
Contact with nature: To provide access to the natural environment, including parks
Pollution: Reducing exposure to air and noise pollution
Healthy outdoor spaces in the workplace
Access to quality outdoor spaces impacts humans in a very holistic way. It touches on many different facets of health making people happier, physically healthier, more confident, focused, and productive.
Many companies with a city presence have invested a huge amount of money to be there. Some have likely invested further in upgrading the office interior. However, the outside is often neglected. Courtyards, terraces and entrance ways are all areas we can adapt to provide flexible outdoor space for working or relaxing. We do this cost-effectively too.
Spaces created around clear, concise visual cues denote appropriate distancing, guide pedestrian flow, ensure privacy and allow small group networking.
Speak to London’s outdoor space experts
Valley Provincial have been enhancing London’s landscape for over 40 years. So, why not contact us today for a design and build transformation of your outdoor areas. We are able to work with modular furniture, existing features and use planting to put biophilia and well-being at the centre.