Green space in cities is important. Among the benefits of functional green space are [Roseland, 2009, 47-48]:
- Decrease energy costs
- Reduce urban heat island effect
- Decrease water use
- Increase absorption of pollutants
- Increase urban wildlife habitat
- Improve drainage
- Act as indicators of ecological health
- Increase community space and aesthetics
- Create more liveable cities and connect with nature
- Save money
We would like to add the benefits of local food production to this list. Urban agriculture can assist in reducing fossil fuel by growing food locally and thus reducing food miles.
There are many opportunities to green our surroundings: private gardens, public gardens, tree lined streets, verges, vacant blocks, drain sites, community gardens, roof gardens, green walls, etc.
- Focusing on urban infill development instead of green field developments with its related loss of native vegetation and/or agricultural land.
- Designing with quality open space in mind. This open space consists of small private courtyards, communal outdoor areas and gardens. The gardens will be a combination of native vegetation and productive gardens (fruit and vegetables).
- Where possible, The Green Swing will initiate or contribute to re-vegetating and improving the local amenity. An example is the community garden at 98 Rutland Avenue. This is a storm water drain owned by the Town of Victoria Park and located next door to our Genesis development on 96 Rutland Avenue. The Green Swing played a key role in creating a community garden on this site.
Roseland, M (2009) Toward Sustainable Communities; Resource for Citizens and their Governments. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island.
“Greening the City”
refers to strategies and techniques that protect and restore ecology within urban communities. Urban ecology strives to create, preserve and restore green and open spaces sustainably. It uses climate- and region- appropriate plants, minimizes the need for fertilizer and water, and uses land for multiple functions such as food production, wildlife habitat, recreation and beautification.