ABSTRACT

There is a new nature narrative in many cities: it is popularizing and legitimizing urban greening through easily digestible research on the health benefits of urban nature; addressing urban socio-economic issues by recognizing that current urban parks are not meeting the needs of urbanites equitably; addressing current environmental dilemmas by explicitly calling for ecological and biodiversity goals to be incorporated into urban greening; and re-imagining what the city can and should be by creatively using previously neglected interstitial and post-industrial land to do so. At the core of this narrative and these initiatives are the questions of what kind of public space we want, what kind we need, and for whom. Using new research and case studies on perceptions of small-scale urban greening projects (SSUG) that fit into the trends outlined above, and comparative case studies of urban greening policies, this chapter outlines how the SSUG projects examined in the rest of the book can positively impact our sense of place, health, and creativity while also addressing current gaps and tensions around equity, sustainability, and public perception. The chapter also outlines key conclusions for each chapter and introduces the dual research and policy narrative that forms the spine of the book.