Environmental benefits

Ecological Benefits

Urban green spaces provide to cities with ecosystem benefits ranging from maintenance of biodiversity to the regulation of urban climate. Comparing with rural areas, differences in solar input, rainfall pattern and temperature are usual in urban areas. Solar radiation, air temperature, wind speed and relative humidity vary significantly due to the built environment in cities. Urban heat island effect is caused by the large areas of heat absorbing surfaces, in combination of high energy use in cities. Urban heat island effect can increase urban temperatures by 5°C. Aside from these human benefits, well designed urban greenspaces can also protect habitats and preserve biodiversity. Greenspaces that feature good connectivity and act as ‘wildlifecorridors’ or function as ‘urban forests’, can maintain viable populations of species that would otherwise disappear from built environments (Haq, 2011; Byrne and Sipe, 2010).

Pollution Control

Pollution in cities as a form of pollutants includes chemicals, particulate matter and biological materials, which occur in the form of solid particles, liquid droplets or gases. Air and noise pollution is common phenomenon in urban areas. The presence of many motor vehicles in urban areas produces noise and air pollutants such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Emissions from industrial areas such as sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are very toxic to both human beings and environment. The most affected by such detrimental contaminants are children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems. Urban greening can reduce air pollutants directly when dust and smoke particles are trapped by vegetation (Haq, 2011).

Noise pollution from traffic and other sources can be stressful and creates health problems for people in urban areas. The overall costs of noise have been estimated to be in the range of 0. 2% – 2% of European Union gross domestic product. Urban green spaces in over crowded cities can largely reduce the levels of noise depending on their quantity, quality and the distance from the source of noise pollution. In the contemporary studies on urban green spaces consider the overall urban ecosystem, conservation of the urban green spaces to maintain natural ecological network for environmental sustainability in cities. For the cities in fast urbanizing and growing economy, country like China should consider the dynamic form of urban expanding to manage effective urban green spaces which will contribute to reduce the overall CO2 by maintaining or even increasing the ability of CO2 absorption via natural eco-system (Haq, 2011).

Updated: October 5, 2015 — 3:12 am