The purpose of the article is to explore urban parks in the process of planning and designing the cities. Because, loss of green spaces especially in urban areas is a global problem, and will create environmental crises eventually. This paper mostly focuses on environment, economic physical and psychological health benefits of urban parks. Urban parks in Istanbul examine to evaluate these benefits. It uses a qualitative research approach based on observation of site, and interview with experts and residents. In this context, some urban parks in different metropolitan cities compared with Istanbul.

The rapidly growing population increases the size of cities, and inevitably causes reduction of the green spaces. Urban parks are being ignored during planning of the cities. In response to growth of community requires upgrading its green infrastructure as much as it needs to upgrade its built environment. Scientific evidence indicates that the urbanization has negative effects on natural environment; therefore including urban parks into the city balances these effects. Planning and designing urban parks can help cities become models of sustainability in a world facing overwhelming environmental challenges. Strategic design and placement of green space elements across the urban landscape can provide environmental and economic benefits. Green spaces in urban settlement help shaping the form of the city and reduce the hostility factor in environments.

Increasingly, in developed countries, Public Parks in urban settlements are being recognized for their strong environmental benefits in support of esthetic and effective sustainable communities. On the other hand, in some under developed countries, the essentiality of urban parks is ignored whilst planning and designing their cities. The parks are a good source of positive economic benefits if properly handled. For instance, to enhance property values, to reduce public costs for storm-water management, flood control and transportation and to increase tourism revenue. In some points, urban parks bring benefits either directly or indirectly to human/public (physical and mental) health. Strong evidence indicates they who have access to parks, exercise more and eventually these habits reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes. Therefore, urban parks give opportunity to enhance psychological well-being because physical activities relieve depression and anxiety and improve mood. In addition, parks provide basic needs, such as individual’s sense of purpose that creates socially active personality, which indirectly effects psychological health.

As a result, environmentally friendly design creates healthy living to both nature itself, and human beings. As a green architect, a passionate believer in environmentally friendly design I conclude by arguing how urban parks can play an essential role into sustainable urban design. Moreover giving a preference to the urban parks provides vital environmental and economical benefits to our cities.