Healthy Parks Healthy People is the brainchild of Parks Victoria, who wondered why people so often saw parks as valuable only for their flora and fauna and perhaps scenery and recreation. Why, they asked themselves, do people not also recognise the connection between a healthy environment and a healthy society? Healthy parks sustain healthy people.
Apart from the obvious benefits of parks for physical activity, they are sanctuaries from urban stress, places for people to connect and havens for children to explore the wonders of the natural world. Parks help provide us with a sense of place, cultural identity and spiritual nourishment. We experience a greater sense of health and wellbeing, of connection and meaning when immersed in the living systems that sustain us.
Parks also bring measurable direct and flow-on economic benefits to local, regional, state and national economies. These economic benefits are a key enabler for communities to function and prosper, allowing them to build social cohesion, social capital and healthy communities.
Healthy Parks Healthy People Central
In 2010, Parks Victoria hosted 1200 participants from 37 countries to the International Healthy Parks Healthy People Congress 2010. This groundbreaking event explored the many ways nature contributes to health and well-being.
To maintain global momentum, Healthy Parks Healthy People (HPHP) Central has evolved to foster better understanding of the links between nature and human health. Parks Australia is proud to support this initiative.
HPHP Central will serve as an online resource for the Healthy Parks Healthy People global community to learn about and share the latest research, case studies, programs and innovations that focus on the health benefits of human contact with the natural world.
Find out more about HPHP Central at hphpcentral.com