Updated: May 20, 2021
We've heard a lot of talk about "urban green" and "green spaces" in cities. But what's all the hullabaloo really about? Is urban green just a fad? How would people, their environments and surrounding ecosystems actually benefit from simply adding plants to a concrete jungle?
This article is going to take a look at the real-world, real-deal benefits of urban green.
1. Local Food, Local Economy, Local Health
Did you know that the "local food trend" has more than doubled since 2008, from $5B to $12B? It is one of the fastest growing segments in food production, and is set to continue expanding every year. As retailers and restaurants purchase more local food to feed increasingly avid customers, money and employment opportunities will likewise continue to expand and circulate within the community.
This is a large and super interesting topic which we will expand on further in a later blog post - stay tuned!
The greening of urban development would mean that the ability to grow food and contribute to the local economy is not restricted to the lucky few with available yard space - or Big Agriculture. Food could be grown for the city, by the city - and the wealth would similarly stay within the city.
2. Cooler Summers, Warmer Winters: Reduced Energy Consumption
Plants provide thermal insulation and natural air circulation for buildings, resulting in fewer temperature extremes.
Two-story or single-story buildings with a tree buffer, for example, will be considerably warmer in winter, and cooler in summer. Areas with ample tree cover (read as "green-cover") can be 10℉ cooler in the summer than open areas without vegetation.
In the winter, evergreens can cut wind speed from 35 mph to 10 mph; with less wind leaching away your home's hard-earned warmth, your furnace does not need to work nearly as hard to stabilize the indoor temperature. Deciduous trees, on the other hand, will shade homes in the summer, and