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Research shows that access to green space correlates with better mental health and lower rates of mortality, obesity, depression and cardiovascular disease. With space at a premium, the definition of parks is evolving. Kath Hudson reports

HOUSTON BOTANIC GARDEN Location: Houston, Texas By: West 8


est 8 is working on a project in Houston, Texas. The city is undergoing a revamp of its green space, with new and enhanced parks being added and the creation of a 240km system of connected linear parks along the natural system of bayous. As part of this green renaissance, the development of a botanic garden is also underway. “The Houston Botanic Garden [HBG] will preserve and enhance 120 acres of green space just a few miles from the centre of Houston’s urban core,” says Nancy Abendshein, chair of 86

Bayou meander Wetland gardens Woodland gardens

Thousands of visitors a year are expected to visit the Houston garden

the HBG board. “When established, it is expected to attract thousands of visitors a year, including schoolchildren from across the region, area residents, horticulturalists and scientists and tourists to the city. Economic impact

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is expected to exceed US$20m every year.” Work is expected to begin in early 2018. West 8 is teaming with a number of consultants and designers in Houston, including Clark Condon Landscape Architects and Walter P

Moore, ETM Associates and environmental experts BergOliver. The property, which spans Sims Bayou, has a mature tree canopy and is a prime example of Gulf Coast habitat. The masterplan will take advantage of the site’s topography and features. ©cybertrek 2016

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