Reasons Why Green Spaces are Key for Cities
No matter where in the city you live, every individual should have access to green spaces that is public, safe, and welcoming. Considering that the percentage of people living in cities worldwide continues to grow and is estimated to double by 2050, national or local governments have a duty: to ensure that every individual has access to green space and assure its preservation and maintenance.
In reality, however, this is not the case: access to fields, forests, and other green spaces is still unsatisfactory. Some studies show that access to green spaces is unequal. It has been observed that less privileged people have less access to urban green spaces than their privileged neighbors with higher incomes and more education.
So what’s the solution to this? Why having green spaces are key for cities? Find out the answers here!
What is a Green Space?
It is an urban space with some greenery including parks, grassy spaces, community gardens, playgrounds, agricultural land, street trees or other vegetation, water features or green roofs, and items that children can move and manipulate as stones, mud, sand, paths, etc. All these elements are not merely decorative but represent a right of every individual recognized by various international
Benefits of Green Spaces
It is an urban space with some greenery including parks, grassy spaces, community gardens, playgrounds, agricultural land, street trees or other vegetation, water features or green roofs, and items that children can move and manipulate as stones, mud, sand, paths, etc. All these elements are not merely decorative but represent a right of every individual recognized by various international frameworks.
Pollution and Stress Reduction
It's a fact, the planet is suffocating and pollution is struggling to escape from cities, causing asthma, chronic coughs, and even cancers. Since trees are capable of retaining up to 5.4 tons of CO2 and 20 kg of dust per year, communities can no longer ignore the incorporation of plants in their urban development.
Noise, traffic jams, and overcrowded transport, every day, city dwellers are confronted with stressful situations. To rediscover calm and serenity, green spaces are indeed the solution.
By developing green spaces that promote the return of biodiversity, green urban planning becomes educational.
Insect hotels and other refuges are a means of raising awareness of young and old about the interactions between plants and animals and the importance of preserving their environment. Several green cities have already created their own participatory observatory!
Physical Development of Children
Contact with nature offers children many development opportunities. Children of all ages tend to participate more in physical activities when they have access to green spaces.
In addition to improving their motor coordination and balance skills, spending time in green spaces minimizes some physical problems such as visual problems (myopia), from which children who spend more time indoors suffer more.
Development of Local Food
Sustainable urban planning can perfectly combine the benefits of a green space with that of a utilitarian garden. In all major cities, we can spring up collective vegetable gardens at the foot of buildings and even on their roofs and facades. Enough to allow local residents to enjoy seasonal vegetables with all the advantages that contact with plants provides.
More Cohesion and Social Relations
When green spaces are equally accessible to all, they serve to reduce health inequities suffered by socioeconomically disadvantaged communities and stimulate their growth as ecologically aware and responsible citizens. Besides positively influencing the behavior of the inhabitants, community gardens and other green spaces promote a sense of community identity and encourage and strengthen community ties.
Benefits for the City
As if this were not enough, green spaces have many positive aspects in economic, social, and environmental terms for cities as a whole.
In addition to the obvious environmental benefits, such as those they have on the quality of the air or the temperature of the city, research highlights other positive aspects of these green spaces: an example would be that violence and crime tend to decrease around green spaces as a result of greater social cohesion.
Plus, due to the benefits that these spaces have on the health of citizens, they also help reduce the cost of medical care.
Finally, green spaces positively affect real estate, increasing its value.
Our Final Thoughts!
In light of the countless benefits that green spaces have on cities and their inhabitants, the government must integrate standards for the inclusion of accessible green spaces through new developments in relevant national policies and allocate funds to support the preservation, improvement, creation, and maintenance of such spaces.
But the responsibility also falls on our shoulders as citizens to contribute to the development of community gardens by supporting the organizations dedicated to this mission, such as Stein Learning Gardens at St. Sabina.
The Sabina Learning Gardens team is committed to eradicating food insecurity in Auburn Gresham by raising awareness and providing garden knowledge among community members and holding community programs that not only result in positive learning experiences but also increase the members’ access to fresh and affordable produces, encouraging healthy lifestyles.
Become a volunteer and lend a helping hand to the Sabina Learning Gardens team and contribute to the development of community gardens in Auburn Gresham.