Green spaces … are just about our very own comfortable zones.. a walk in the park or lawn just takes care of everyday worries in its own way. Needless to say, they are an asset for the environment too. Not just lawns or parks, a green space developed with care yields unparalleled and continual benefits.
Smart cities are taking to the concept of urban forestry in a big way .. it adds to the beauty of the city and helps to clean up polluted air – a byproduct of the long drawn process of urbanization.
A few ways in how green zones have been helping us maintain the planet.
The Plants Attraction
Adding a bit of a natural green touch to properties or urban landscapes makes it look attractive. People end up feeling good about themselves and their homes and cities when surrounded by natural plants and flowers.
Green spaces can be quite relaxing for a breath of fresh air and physical exercise (jogging, running, walking). They can reduce stress levels and improve social activity and engagement among residents and certainly have a positive impact on overall well-being and urban environments.
Improves water quality
Cities are getting more ‘active’ in industrial and urbanization processes, and hence have become more susceptible to pollution and flooding, with deforestation. It limits natural hydro-logical activity such as rainwater storage and infiltration that can lead to water runoff and potential floods and contamination in waterways.
Planting trees and proper landscaping can help to reduce surface water runoff, since it allows the water to flow down into the earth below, preventing harmful contaminants from polluting waterways. The mulch around the trees also holds in soil moisture and prevents the roots from drying up.
A multitude of green spaces/trees in and around homes and offices helps to keep the surrounding environments cooler and saves up on the air conditioning and keeps energy bills lower.
Builds a sense of community
Urban planning promotes a sense of community by bringing neighborhoods and people together in making cities greener and more attractive and instills a sense of civic pride.
Studies suggest that certain attributes have to be taken into consideration while planting saplings or trees so that they meet the intended objectives of urban tree growing zones. For e. g, if a tree is planted to provide ornamental attraction, the necessary attributes would be shape, size, colour, cultural significance, etc.
On the other hand, if the objective of planting is to reduce air pollution or noise pollution levels in the area, the ideal factors to consider would be its height and canopy size. Similarly for fruit-bearing, the seasonality of production and nutritional value would need to be considered.
With urban settlements growing rapidly, the impact on biodiversity and environment is huge. As per reports, at least 50 percent of the world’s population resides in cities. Developing more ‘ green urban spaces’ becomes especially necessary in mega cities which have a relatively high density of population.
With inputs from Internet and print sources