Miroslaw GROCHOWSKI, University of Warsaw, Poland
Anna ANDRUSZKIEWICZ, University of Warsaw, Poland
Parks have always been an important element of the urban landscape and played an important role in the functional and spatial structure of the city. This role grew with the pressure to develop vacant land. Intensive development and high population density made the parks attractive oases for residents to relax. Parks also provide ecosystem services. They are elements of natural systems, the development of which is important in the situation of climate change. Parks are important public spaces conducive to social integration and various activities undertaken by residents. The Covid pandemic has shown that parks also act as a valuable asylum during an epidemic threat. The size of the parks, their number and location, the arrangement of their space and the offer they have are extremely important for residents in the Covid era.
Parks are not evenly distributed in a city space. Not all residents have easy access to them. During a pandemic, this issue becomes particularly important, as some residents experience exclusion - they do not have the opportunity to use green areas, which affects their physical condition and mental health.
The article presents the results of a study on city parks in Warsaw: their availability, size, specificity of location, capacity and potential to be an asylum for residents looking for comfort after quarantine or lockdown. The evolution of the role and importance of parks in the city space was indicated and discussed. The existing differences were shown and recommendations were formulated regarding the development of the parks' offer and how to link them with urban forests to strengthen the natural system of the city.
Keywords: City parks|climate change|wellbeing|Covid-19|Warsaw