Cities are all about human needs and wants. Everything in them is designed and planned to make lives of the city population as easy as possible. Each spot of land can be used to create something that can make people living more convenient or generate economic growth. That is why many urban planners choose to reduce green areas and make them artificial. Although green areas really doesn’t generate exact economic growth, they are very important for cities and their populations.
First of all, green areas are needed to reduce the urban heat island effect. The flat and dark surfaces made of asphalt and concrete heats up and creates urban heat island effect. That results as urban neighborhoods becoming warmer than other areas. Also it is a factor in smog creation. As the air pollution and heat can be absorbed by trees, green areas can reduce this effect. Strategic planting of trees can even reduce summer temperatures by 1º – 5º C, so there should be small green areas integrated in the whole city network.
Of course, plants and trees can also reduce the overall air pollution in urban areas. Air pollution means emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses and also heavy metals. This kind of pollution can increase risk of certain cancers and have adverse effects on people with respiratory problems, so reduction of air pollution is very important for cities population’s health. Also negative environmental impacts from the city pollution can be reduce simply by planting some trees. Even very small green areas or few trees can make a big difference when it comes to air pollution, so there definitely should be some green spots in each city.
Green areas also have a huge role in protection of ecosystems. As forest lands and natural ecosystems reduce just because of the urbanization and creation of the cities, it is necessary to make sure biodiversity is not reducing or at least not becoming extinct. Each park has its own ecosystem and they provide natural habitats for many different animal species. It is a chance to give home to those animals which get displaced by urban sprawl.
But green areas has not only environmental and ecological meaning, but social as well. Parks are the places where city population can have some physical activities, spend their free time and relax. If all the city is totally urbanized and there are no free places, it can’t be considered as convenient place for the people. Peoples needs also include different types of relaxation and if there are no places to get that, city in not functioning right.
In short, green areas make cities and neighborhoods more attractive places for people to live and work. Although people like cities, because they are more convenient places for living, they need some rural influence as well, beside lack of plants and trees can even make living impossible. Without any vegetation there will be nothing that can absorb the pollution and produce the fresh air.