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Is Sustainability As Accessible As It Should Be?

The importance of inclusivity and involvement in making our communities more environmentally friendly

Women doing yoga at the park
by Rui Dias | @pexels

The United Nations established the 17 SDG's (Sustainable Development Goals) to encourage us all to recognize the beneficial impacts of trying to live more sustainably.

By building a global partnership for sustainable development, communities across the globe have implemented SDG's and have reaped the benefits of improvements to health and education, as well as raising awareness of climate change and preserving natural spaces.

Communities are at the forefront of these developments and yet working class individuals across the UK struggle to reap the benefits of nature and environmentalism due to inaccessibility to green spaces.

Inequalities in Access to Green Spaces

Sustainability is of course important to us all and we should all be able to contribute to and benefit from making environmentally friendly choices.

However, statistics show that there are severe inequalities in the accessibility of parks and green spaces in local working class communities.

According to Groundwork, 40% of people from ethnic minority backgrounds live in the most green-space deprived areas. Furthermore, statistics from the 2023 Green Space Index show that 6.1 million people live without ten minute walking access to a green space

Green space initiatives have been proven to provide a blueprint for prosperity for both the people and the planet, but due to societal barriers not everybody has access to the physical and emotional benefits of being outdoors.

Creating more spaces for sustainable development in lower income areas will not only improve the well-being of those most suffering from health inequalities, but it will also encourage communities to take action and work towards a greener tomorrow.

Fighting for Equal Access

The national lock-downs brought on by COVID acted as a catalyst for the formation of community led gardens and green space initiatives across the UK. These spaces provide sanctuary for those that need access to nature and the opportunity to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, all while supporting nature recovery.

We need more spaces like this in our communities: places to explore the possibilities of re-imagining urban landscapes and implementing the healing benefits of nature into the places that need it most.

We may not all have the means to contribute to sustainability, but we can all acknowledge and embrace the benefits of the great outdoors. Go for a walk, explore and discover the green spaces in your city, get involved!


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