A study from the MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment estimated that air pollution causes 200,000 early deaths a year. Similarly, as per Air Quality and Pollution City Ranking 2020, Pakistan has ranked as second with most polluted cities; Lahore is ranked at number 2, and Karachi is ranked at number 19, having AQI (Air Quality Index) values 164, and 71 respectively. The acceptable standard for AQI are; 0-50 Good; 51-100 moderate; 101-150 unhealthy for sensitive groups; 151-200 unhealthy; 201-300 very unhealthy; 301-500 dangerous. Why is it so? Why is the situation of two busiest cities of Pakistan is worse? Logically speaking, as cities grow and more people move into already crowded spaces, healthy cities turn into heat islands. So, there is a dire need for turning congested urban areas into healthy living places. Following are a few ways to create Green Spaces for cities.
- Develop Parks within each Housing Communities
First, Green spaces can be created by developing parks within each housing community, planting trees along roads, especially those considered the busiest, as well as leaving open ‘conserved’ places in cities where local species of trees can be planted. No unauthorized people should be allowed to venture out in the conserved or protected areas and dense forest can be created in these places in the future.
- A Productive Role of Town Municipal Authorities (TMAs)
Town Municipal Authorities (TMAs) should also ensure that in cities with a higher population, and a greater number of infrastructural projects, there must be conserved spaces for green cover. TMAs can also engage with the youth and host regular plantation drives. In this way, the citizens will also feel included and will be apprised of the importance of green spaces in their cities.
- Roof Top Gardening
Rooftop gardening has multifold benefits. Besides providing daily usable items including fresh vegetables and fruits, it will also inject a sigh of relaxation, freshness, and calm. Rooftop gardens are also beneficial in reducing rainfall runoff impacts because they retain the water that falls on them and returns it into the air through transpiration and evaporation. Just as rooftop gardens clean the air they also clean the water by removing nitrogen pollution from storm water runoff. So, one must go for it, when possible.
- Self-Responsibility is Very Important
Every drop in the ocean counts. So, every individual should play a responsible role. For instance, one can pledge to plant a tree. One can promise not to use extra plastic bags. One can spread awareness through social media, and so on. In short, it is the collective responsibility of every human to clean the environment and protect the cities from further environmental degradation. Hence, every individual must respect the environment, making rational use of natural resources, and taking steps to prevent pollution from the different processes.
- Reducing and Managing Food Waste
People in urban areas consume up to 70 percent of global food supply, but much of it is thrown away. In addition, food waste that is not recycled or re-used is filling up the landfills. There, it decomposes and generates methane, a greenhouse gas that is more harmful to the planet than carbon dioxide. This scenario is not just a waste of food but also a waste of energy, money and natural resources such as land and water that is used to produce and process the food. Citywide measures for recovering safe and nutritious food and redistributing it through charities and food banks, composting or utilizing discarded food to generate energy can make a huge impact in reducing food waste.
From above discussion, it has become evidently clear that importance of green spaces for cities cannot be undermined. Knowing the significance of these places, incumbent government has put great efforts to minimize fast growing adverse effects of environmental pollution. Inauguration of tree plantation campaigns across Pakistan under 10 Billion Tree Tsunami is worth sharing example. First ever Miyawaki (A technique developed by Japan helps in building dense, native forests) has also bee also been launched in Pakistan.
Just like remarkable efforts of current government, several NGOs, and all other stakeholders, real estate developers has no exception. Each planned community is allotted a certain percentage of land which is used to beautify the community and provide its residents with areas dedicated to greenery, playing fields and jogging tracks. Since decades, these communities are contributing in many ways to minimize impacts of environment pollution and to make sure neat and clean environment in the town.
To put things further, let’s take a few examples from Lahore such as Bahria Town which is well known for its beautiful landscaping and outstanding park. Parks of different shapes and sizes at Bahria Town give the look of a city of gardens. Mini trees are provided along with beautiful birds and small animals for the pleasure of the children. Similarly, Lake City is another top notch residential community that promises to provide serene environments not only for its residents but also for who are residing in its surroundings. Lush greenery, trees and shrubs, flowers and lawns have been provided which ensure the necessary relief from day to day stress of modern life.
When it comes to any kind of development, Zaitoon– New Lahore City always says yes to contribute whatever it can. The management believes that development does not simply depend on building structure, in fact, it is contingent on health, beauty, and convenience. Keeping this in mind, New Lahore City provides the best residential environment for you and your family to live (and thrive) in Lahore – with lots of green spaces to bring you closer to nature. Because of this concern, more than 55% of the project’s land area has been dedicated to providing a number of lifestyle facilities including parks and green areas.
To conclude, green spaces play a pivotal role for cities. Like efforts of urban developers, everyone must play ones role at individual level. Above mentioned techniques must also be implemented wherever possible. Hoping that, we will all together make this earth neat, clean, and green.