There’s very strong movement across Canada to build age-friendly cities as compared to the traditional 20th century model of car-friendly cities. That means building age-friendly parks that are a social investment for stronger, healthier cities and essential to the health of individuals who live there. They offer opportunities for recreation, green space, new friendships, human contact, and a sense of belonging. Parks promote exercise, reduce crime, revitalize neighbourhoods, protect the environment and bring communities together through play. Some parks even offer age friendly splash pads. That’s right, even the adults get to dip their toes in recycled water along with the kids.
Our city has 72 parks within its municipal boundaries and occasionally there is a push to sell what might be seen to private investors, as under-utilized land. They may be right about under-utilized areas, unless we make those parks more interactive for all ages.
Green spaces with updates to accommodate everyone in the community would be a wonderful social investment for our city. It could give a sense of belonging and more opportunities for play, and to interact with our neighbours. Very broad social benefits that are vital to any community’s health and well-being.