The influence of extreme heat is erratic throughout geographies and communities. The population residing in or near micro-urban heat islands directly lacks the ability to fight the extreme heat conditions and become prone to various heat-related health problems.At this point, there is an urgent requirement to get engaged in identifying the risk factors and look for effective strategies to reduce vulnerability. And this is where urban landscapes come in!
Over to Urban Landscapes
Great harbors in the United States like Boston Harbor and Baltimore Harbor are amongst the popular natural harbors in the major US cities. Various other cities ranked just because of their great natural harbors used for ports, like- Vancouver, BC Canada; Shanghai, China; Hamburg, Germany; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, and Venice, Italy.
Urban landscapes basically highlight spaces whose emphasis is on preserving natural resources and building ecosystems which will improvehuman and wildlife populations. And with the rapid global changes, urban landscapes can be a boon to meet today’s needs and tomorrow’s growth. The features of urban landscape comprise the preservation, creation, and restoration of natural centers, parks, recreational areas, and wildlife refuges.
Urban landscapes are not only confined to this, they even focus on maintaining and enhancing the watershed health and viability, sustaining the agricultural and forested land areas. It even features- modern art, songbird havens, updating the older spaces and making them usable and accessible, implementing practices that lead to better water management and horticulture, comprehensive pest management and plant health care as well.
So, by integrating nature into the urban space, we’ll not only beautify the ecosystem but even build spaces where we can connect with nature, preserve the wildlife and offer a healthier ecosystem for the next generations.
Urban Landscaping for Climate Resilience
When we talk about water sustainability and climate resilience, urban outdoor landscaping brings ample opportunities to work upon. In the recent times, outdoor landscapes have become an important part of cities no matter it is outside a store, house, office, or a manufacturing plant, the landscape acts as the prime interface of a property with the ecosystem. And if the properties are developed implementing sustainable landscaping ideas can help us to fight droughts, floods, sequester carbon, and healthier lifestyles.
Landscaping is moving afar from white picket fences and manicured yards. We are rapidly realizing there are more intelligent, progressively valuable, and consequently increasingly lovely, approaches to design landscaping so it works for the humans, and the earth. This is particularly basic in urban territories where greenery is less, and urban materials are unforgiving to atmosphere variances.
Changing our urban landscaping is vital for building resilient city spaces, and embellishing the society. Ongoing researches have demonstrated that urban territories with fewer trees are 10 degrees hotter by and large than regions with vigorous tree coverings. The additional heat prompts negative health outcomes, and including trees, bushes, and other greenery again into these territories can revive a whole network.
We can easily develop sustainable urban landscapes that are in balance with local climate and ecology and even have a great contribution to watershed health. Major elements of sustainable landscapes are: build healthy soils, using climate-specific plants, preserving vegetative cover, water, and other resources.
To attain sustainability, we must make changes right away
For instance,California is experiencing changing precipitation patterns which increase with climate changes. The state is undergoing longer and hotter droughts, storms, and major fluctuations between the two. So, the planet is actually facing growing water shortage threats and flooding as well.
And when we talk about urban landscapes which are marked by paved areas and wide lawns, hardly have any share while tackling these problems. However, the better alternative can be turning the urban landscapes to assets instead of being the reason for risk. Sustainable urban landscapes can present a wide range of benefits, and the major areas where we can expect improvement are- drought, carbon, flood, and community.Let’s study them in detail.
The prominent methods of how urban landscapes can result in urban communities resilient to drought are- use less water and preserve water for future use. Substituting grass with climate-specific plants minimizes the landscape’s water requirements by 70-80%. In fact, we can even design urban landscapes that can gather and hold the water either in the soil, groundwater, or rainwater catchment systems for future use. Tanks and rain barrels can be used for capturing roof runoff and thus maximize the local water supplies.
Flood and Water Pollution
With the climate warms, the planet is facing high precipitation in the form of rain, and these rain events have multiplied in intensity. At this point, we need to prepare for the storms and even for flood management. As urban landscapes can easily gather and hold water, it is even helpful to mitigate local flooding. With this approach, water will run into rain gardens and soak in the soil with no water pooling on the parking lots, streets, and sidewalks. Moreover, minimize the amount of paved area and replacing it with a green area can control the excess water and result in flood reduction. It can even leave a positive impact while controlling water pollution in oceans as urban landscapes easily absorb and purify the first flush of the rain that carries the most polluted water.
Greenhouse gas and carbon emissions
Land, water, and energy management are all directly connected to climate. Healthy soil acts as a key component of urban landscaping and can separate carbon from the ecosystem and offering climate mitigation. The practice also reduces the use of energy as it demands less blowing, mowing, and green waste hauling.
Better Community Well-Being
Apart from droughts and floods, urban landscapes offer advantages for the human community as well. Moving from the outdoor spaces covered with grass to the ones with beautiful native plants and natural spaces directly enhances the well-being.
With the growing urbanization and drastic climate changes every year, the call to action has become the urgency while addressing this major concern right away. Addressing this challenge will demand countless efforts, time, and master planning of stakeholders, citizens, businesses, and the state government as well.
Ardie Cash is known as the best Landscapers Calgary associated with Tazscapes. He loves to share his views on topics covering upcoming market trends, landscape designs, and gardening.