Over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban dwellings. The United Nations predicts that number will rise to 70% by mid-century.
Therefore, urban sustainability becomes a key priority to ensure that the continued growth of cities and urban spaces does not harm the future of the world.
Urban sustainability, when combined with urban planning and design, goes beyond landscape architecture and instead focuses on creating greener spaces that recruit, nourish and support nature.
So, what is a green space? Formally defined, green space is any public or private land with natural elements in an urban area, including water. Types of open urban green space include parks, public and private gardens, riversides, home gardens, and green corridors with urban trees and vegetation.
Working for urban sustainability with green spaces
Sustainability and respect for the environment are key goals over the next decade and beyond and legislation, such as the upcoming environmental bill, is likely to reinforce them with practical goals.
Sustainable urban living offers a more productive, safer and more sustainable alternative to chaotic urban areas plagued by poor air quality, noise pollution and rippling temperatures.
Landscaping impacts this by creating environments where plants can thrive if properly cared for. Air quality in urban areas improves dramatically with plants, as they absorb carbon dioxide and provide oxygen.
In practice, adding foliage to otherwise bland spaces and replacing traditional fences with hedges can all improve urban green spaces and increase biodiversity by creating habitats for wildlife like butterflies, newts, and hedgehogs.
Those with access to available urban green spaces report a sense of well-being, being able to function better and make more use of their time, an important consideration for residential and commercial developments. The diversity of life outside of humans in the form of birds, insects, and flowers brings a lot of mental disruption and connection to inner peace.
Implement urban sustainability with landscaping
In the 1990s, Singapore made a commitment to become what is called a “biophilic” city. Singapore planned to reclaim green space, rewilding as many areas of the city as possible to create natural habitats and catalyze biodiversity. The incorporation of rooftop gardens, vertical green walls and urban plants has kept air pollution levels constant since the start of the decade, supporting more ambitious goals for the future.
By working with real estate developers and city planners at the start of new residential and commercial landscaping projects, the industry can provide simple solutions to current concerns about the removal of green belts and the resulting environmental impact.
Landscaping can improve urban sustainability through initiatives such as:
- Add green aspects such as natural wildflower gardens, hedges and trees plan.
- Choose a peat-free soil and plant using domestic soils, rather than imported soils, or those that have not been approved.
- Focus on native and rare species that can be reintroduced, rather than purely decorative ones. A healthy mix of the two is necessary to promote biodiversity.
Adam Brindle is the CEO and Founder of Grounds Care Group, the UK’s leading specialty contractors for grounds maintenance, Japanese knotweed removal, winter risk management and landscaping. Robust and reliable services offering value for money are at the heart of Grounds Care Group, and landscape contractors work in the public, housing and construction sectors to provide tailor-made solutions with minimal impact on the environment. surrounding.