Greening the city
Green space in cities is important. Amongst 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.
The Green Swing Project contributes to greening our urban environment as follows:
- The development on 96 Rutland Avenue is an example of urban infill compared to new, green field development with its related loss of native vegetation and/or agricultural land.
- The design allows for approximately 60% open space. This open space will be used for small private courtyards, a communal outdoor kitchen area and a communal garden. The garden will be a combination of native vegetation and fruit & vegetable garden.
- The neighbouring property on 98 Rutland Avenue is a drainage site owned by the Town of Victoria Park. This site provides a unique opportunity to showcase how to green the urban environment through revegitation.
- Roseland, M (2009) Toward Sustainable Communities; Resource for Citizens and their Governments. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island.
Greening the City
"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.