Urban Greening Essay

1562 words - 7 pages

​"Greening urban areas is not just about making places look nice. Evaluate the contribution of green areas in cities to meeting the goals of sustainable development" (40 marks)
Sustainable development is most frequency defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Thus, sustainable development means finding a balance between the fulfillment of human needs with the protection of the natural environment. Sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts environmental protection, economic sustainability, and social wellbeing. In this essay I will evaluate how cities have ...view middle of the document...

From this is can be seen that vegetation acts as a natural and effective flood defense. In Washington DC, due to a reduction in tree canopy cover from 37% in 1973 to 21% 1997, as much as £110 million in facilities to compensate for lost tree cover had to be spent. As seen from this, in urbanizing cities, greening urban areas are vital in monitoring the climate and act as a long-term, cheap and effective way of securing an environmentally sustainable future.
In addition, not only do green urban areas act as ecosystem regulators but promote urban forestation and encourage growth in biodiversity. Fort Canning Park is one of Singapore’s main remaining green spaces in the heart of Singapore. For this reason it is managed by Singapore’s Government Corporation; the National Parks Board and has been protected under the Parks and Trees Act of 1991. From this alone it can be seen that Singapore is adamant about protecting their environment, essential if development is to be sustainable. Fort Canning has been very successful in its growth in biodiversity. From the initial introduction of butterflies the park has flourished. To name a few, the park is now home to dragonflies, a resident White Belly Eagle, hornbills, monitor lizards and a vast species of birds. The ability of such species to co-exist highlights the quality of living conditions in the conservation area and how well it is being monitored and looked after. Singapore is renowned for being a modern city filled with innovative ideas. One of the more recent, Singapore plans to convert a 40 km stretch of Malayan Railway land into a ‘nature corridor’. The idea is that this green corridor will serves as a sort of Central Expressway for plants and animals. This movement of species previously cut off from each other will have the benefit of increasing the genetic diversity of local wildlife. For development to be environmentally sustainable it’s imperative that protection of the environment is a key concept of future planning. Original ideas such as the nature corridor indicate that Singapore is putting theory into action and is well aware of what it means to be environmentally sustainable.
Secondly, greening urban areas helps to achieve economic sustainability. As Singapore is limited for space there are few places where major urban greening can take place. To solve this problem Singapore has taken on the innovative idea of green roofs. Examples include gardens atop Marina Bay Sands, Raffles City Shopping Mall, School of art and design and even atop a newly built MacDonalds in Jurong Central Park. It is not only Singapore that has adopted the idea of these roof top gardens, it’s worldwide. London’s Ecology Unit estimates that savings on energy costs by the careful planting of trees can be as much as 25% a year. This indicates that greening urban areas contributes to sustainable economic development by reducing the amount of resources needed. For example, as these gardens have an evaporative cooling...

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