What Are Green Spaces? And Why Do We Need Them?

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Trending

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What is Green Space?

Green spaces refer to programs that support the creation of open space in cities to build leafy public parks and recreational areas. The encouragement of biodiversity, the aesthetic value of greenery in frequently heavily drab urban environments, and the chance for active or quiet recreation are just a few advantages of green space. An atmosphere with more greenery fosters a happier neighborhood.

Green space promotes biodiversity in places that may otherwise be monotonous in their plant and animal life, in addition to the overall visual appeal of lovely flowers and trees in an urban setting. Green spaces can create heavens of peace amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life. The idea behind green space is better to connect the natural environment with the constructed environment. Also, they can offer leisure opportunities in a setting free from the dangers of vehicular traffic.

Examples of typical green spaces include Communal lawns, Parks, common areas, Cemeteries, Woods, Meadows, green roofs, fields for playing, Wetlands, Allotments, walkways, abandoned railroad tracks, rivers, canals, and other green passageways, unused or abandoned land that has been transformed into green space for public use.

What Is The Need For Green Spaces?

Green space is especially beneficial for children, our future generation. For instance, one study found that children who attended schools with more green space had significantly better cognitive functioning than those with less green space. Another found that early exposure to green space is associated with a lower risk of mental health issues in adulthood.

Green space helps to mitigate climate change by lowering the effects of urban heat islands. Still, because cities only occupy a small portion of our area and CO2 emissions are substantial, it has little impact on carbon sequestration. Towns with more green space can have better ecosystems and more biodiversity, especially if the city has a well-planned green infrastructure. Following are a few reasons why we need green spaces:

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1. Adaptation To The Climate

Green spaces have a considerable sponge effect on precipitation, obviating the requirement for drainage, depending on the structure of the plant and the ground below. The same is true for water surfaces built to hold back water by accommodating changes in water level. A town or city can become more climate-proof by using green roofs, bioswales with vegetation, a low percentage of impervious surfaces, and a high percentage of vegetation.

Moreover, green shells and banks contribute to the cleanliness of the surface water. More excellent wetlands and flood zones along rivers help to improve water quality, lessen the likelihood of flooding, and promote recreation and biodiversity. Green spaces in towns and cities boost urban retention capacity, which helps lower water treatment costs and drainage and retention systems elsewhere. More effective use of plants in flood barriers can make costly, single-purpose retention systems unnecessary. Green retention facilities perform more functions, which increases their economic efficiency.

2. Boost Biodiversity

Extending green-blue networks, better utilizing the numerous surfaces in towns and cities as habitats for plants and wildlife, such as rooftops and facades, and removing pointless paving can all help to improve this. Due to the increased risk of disease when the ecosystem is out of balance, biodiversity loss can negatively impact the economy.

3. Production of Food

Urban food production is still a reality in many major cities throughout the globe. Yet, as indicated by the resurgence of urban agriculture, city gardening, guerilla gardening, and farmers’ markets in Western towns and cities, it is again becoming a new trend. Sales of goods produced by organic farmers are rising. Like rural residents, city and town inhabitants also desire to understand their food’s origins. Urban farmers have a lot of room to grow as a result.

4. Heat Diminution

Mostly paved metropolitan areas can be up to 10 degrees hotter than regions with much greenery or surface water on hot days. Due to the shade they provide and the fact that the ground beneath them doesn’t retain as much heat, trees positively impact the microclimate. Evaporation gives all kinds of green and water surfaces their cooling ability. Buildings can use less energy for air conditioning by adding green spaces like green roofs, green facades, and carefully placed trees. The areas behind and beneath green walls and ceilings remain cooler. Because of the shade and evaporation, areas under trees remain colder.

In many businesses nowadays, cooling already consumes more energy than heating. The demand for energy for air conditioning will only rise due to climate change. Using vegetation to reduce urban temperatures for energy consumption, health, labor productivity, and general well-being is becoming increasingly crucial.

5. More Pristine Air

Green spaces can only make up for some of the pollution brought on by human activities and will never be able to take the place of proactive steps to address pollution causes. Yet, vegetation and urban trees can bind particulate matter, absorb CO2 and sulfur dioxide, and as a result, can contribute to at least a partial improvement. The open green zones’ ability to pull in air from the surrounding areas is possibly more crucial for our urban conglomerates. In hot weather, vegetation also helps to cool cities and towns, which can lessen the number of days with an inversion. Public health is directly impacted by better air quality.

6. Energy Made From Biomass and Water

Fuel can be made from green waste and wood from urban production trees. Urban organic waste and solid waste from sewage systems can both be fermented. Electricity and biogas can be generated using wastewater, which can be heated and used again. Surface water can also be used to extract heat. These techniques allow for the closing of material cycles while allowing for the contribution of garbage and vegetation to the energy supply of the town or city.

The Bottom Line

Every city policy and decision-maker should place a high priority on expanding green space. We must urgently green our cities and bring green space closer to people because green space has too many ecological, environmental, climate, health, and well-being benefits to be ignored. Many health advantages, including lower premature mortality, increased life expectancy, fewer mental health issues, decreased cardiovascular disease, improved cognitive functioning in youngsters and the elderly, and healthier newborns, are linked to green space.

It also offers social connection and physical activity possibilities while reducing air pollution, heat, and noise levels. Although overcoming the obstacles to going green may not be simple, it should be doable with a team effort and the participation of many stakeholders, including you. Simply put, our green places are too valuable to waste.

 

Author

  • Dr. Tanushree Kain

    Tanushree is a passionate Environmentalist with a Doctorate in Environmental Sciences. She is also a Gold medalist in Master of Science (M.Sc), Environmental Sciences. She has 6 years of experience as a guest faculty in Environmental Sciences. With her combination of technical knowledge and research expertise, she can create clear, accurate, and engaging content that helps users get the maximum information regarding environmental topics.

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