Health experts as well as residents welcomed the recent opening of Town Square Park, which saw the launch of a range of activities including a trampoline park, skate park and wave rider. Mikkel Petersen, a health and fitness coach at Fly High Fitness who has lived in the community for nearly a year, says activities available for the community, which include a fully equipped gym for residents and a 12km running track, are a positive way to help get people moving. “It’s incredible how many activities they’ve managed to create for Town Square and the surrounding neighbourhoods,” said Petersen. “We have tennis, football, basketball and now the wave rider, skate and trampoline parks,” he said. “We have a huge dog park too, so all in all it all promotes a more healthy lifestyle. You see kids out playing in the parks and on the street, playing games like tag, hide and seek.”

For Petersen’s wife, Annie, walking with the couple’s twins on strollers is “much easier and safer now”.

It was not only the residents of the Nshama development who welcomed the weekend opening. Many from the surrounding communities such as Mira and Arabian Ranches have also welcomed the initiative.

Health benefits

Nutritionist and health coach Vicky Tipper says having green spaces and parks means a range of health benefits for communities, including getting vitamin D, important for the likes of bone health and combatting depression and stress and boosting heart health. “Studies have shown that when we’re outside and looking at geometric shapes found in nature, it helps reduce cortisol, so we feel less stressed,” she explained. “It takes people away from smart phones, which goes for both adults and children alike. Anything that promotes community spirit, is so good for cognitive function, heart health and combatting stress.”

Town Square Park is possibly the most advanced community park in the emirate, making the development a destination in itself. Last week, Fred Durie, CEO of Nshama, told Gulf News the park is just half of what’s to come — it would finally cover about 1.5 million sq ft plus 16 community gardens. Already boasting shops, green spaces and activities, in will eventually include a cinema and shopping district. The developer expects around 85,000 people living and working in the community by 2025.