Expanding green space is a primary goal of becoming a resilient community. Green spaces support all three aspects of sustainability. They're good for the planet because they cool the earth, remove air toxins, provide wildlife habitat, reduce soil erosion and stormwater runoff, and can support biodiversity if planned carefully. They're good for people because they help create a sense of place, contribute to the character of a city, give people gathering spaces for socializing with neighbors, and entice people to exercise more. They are also good for the economy as they become attractions for visitors, venues for events, and can increase property values of surrounding buildings. Green space can even increase business profitability as views of nature are known to help increase employee productivity and bring foot traffic to retailers.
Green spaces come in all shapes and sizes, and include some you may not think about. Natural areas and beaches, large and small parks and landscaped plazas are green spaces, but so are greenway connectors, treed walking paths, urban farms, community gardens, home and school gardens, planted medians, and even pop-up parklets. Even a grouping of potted trees can be a green space.
Increasing our green space is a joint effort of our Parks & Recreation, Sustainable Development and Public Works Departments, as well as Sustainability Division. Employees in these areas work with local developers, public agencies at the county and state level, private businesses and our neighbors to build vegetated spaces into as many acres as we can. Learn more in this section about four strategies we are using to increase green space in Fort Lauderdale: greenways, parks and neighborhood green spaces, urban farms and community gardens, and parklets. Additional strategies, such as growing our urban canopy, adding certified wildlife habitats, and promoting Florida-friendly landscaping are discussed in our Natural Resources Preservation section.