Importance of green spaces
As we all know there has been controversy regarding the beloved Miekles Park in our City of Mutare. While any development is welcome in our city, parks and green spaces should be left as they are and nothing else. Why not preserve our own parks and the benefits that come with them? Therefore in this piece, we are going to highlight the importance of green spaces and parks in an urban environment.
Green spaces can be in any form such as parks, sports fields, wetlands and they represent a fundamental part of the urban ecosystem. They provide areas of relaxation and tranquillity for people from all walks of life. In Mutare, one can see many people relaxing in the park benches as well as lying on the park lawns and the fact that many people even take photos in the parks is evidence that they feel relaxed and really admire the parks. Miekles Park is used as a place for different functions, galas, and exhibitions as it is strategic in the sense that it is placed right at the CBD. Imagine our city devoid of greenery. It will not be a pretty picture. Therefore green spaces have great aesthetic value and great lifestyle benefits to citizens.
Role of Green Spaces
Green spaces and parks play a critical role in improving the condition of the urban environment. Green spaces play a vital role in cooling the city by helping regulate air quality and climate. This is achieved by reducing the energy consumption by countering the warming effects of paved surfaces. So we can think of green spaces as a “natural air conditioner unit”. Pavements and tarred roads absorb a lot of heat and green spaces provide a way for some of the heat to escape and reducing heat build up. The trees, shrubs, and grass in the park also improve air quality by removing smoke, dust and other pollutants from the air. One tree can remove up to 11 kilograms of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. This means that there is reduced air pollution, reduction in smog and particulate matter which means cleaner air.
Greenspaces and parks also act as biodiversity or species banks. For example in the case of the beautiful Aloe Gardens in Mutare’s Main Park. This garden is the product of a lot of hard work, passion, and dedication to nature preservation. The gardens contain different species of aloe, shrubs, and trees and because of the different varieties of plants present there one is compelled to preserve them and they become a source of pride.
Fun fact: The Aloe garden has more than 240 species of aloe collected from all around Africa and Madagascar.
All said and done greenspaces are an integral part of the urban ecosystem and play an important role in maintaining a healthy city and its citizens and we should all make a conscious effort and commitment to maintain and improve the physical as well as social environments.
More green less gray!!