Benjamin Cooke and Brian Coffey write in The Conversation (4.10.16) about the current moves in many urban centres in Australia, and around the world, towards ‘greening’ parts of our cities.
‘Ecological studies highlight the contribution urban nature makes to the conservation of biodiversity. For example, research shows cities support a greater proportion of threatened species than non-urban areas.
‘Green space is increasingly recognised as useful for moderating the heat island effect. Hence, this helps cities adapt to, and reduce the consequences of, climate change.
‘Reducing urban heat stress is the main objective behind the federal government’s plan to set tree canopy targets for Australian cities. Trees are cooler than concrete. Trees take the sting out of heatwaves and reduce heat-related deaths.
‘The “healthy parks healthy people” agenda emphasises the health benefits of trees, parks and gardens. Urban greenery provides a pleasant place for recreation. By enhancing liveability, green spaces make cities more desirable places to live and work.
‘The increased interest in urban greening presents exciting opportunities for urban communities long starved of green space.’