Rapid Urbanization is leading to bigger cities; meaning increased density of people and expansion of Concrete jungles.
A tree in a city is a rarity. It was not always like this. I remember while growing up, each house was surrounded by open space and at least a few trees would be in it. Slowly, the house gave way to apartments and trees simply gave way to 'Development'. Cost of land increased so much in the urban areas that no one wants to leave any open areas, leave alone planting or retaining trees.
As a kid, my dream was to see a tree outside the window of my room. If one wants to see a tree in a city now, one has to travel some distance.
A study at the University of Essex has concluded that just 5 minutes of physical activity in a green environment provides measurable benefits to self-esteem and mental health. The greatest jump in mood and self-confidence in test subjects occurred in the first five minutes, and the effect was even more positive in areas with both greenery and water. Walking, cycling and gardening all offer practical opportunities to put the phenomenon to use in your own life.
How can we as individuals increase the greenery in our urban surroundings?
1. By urging the Municipalities / Government to plant more trees along roads and allocate open areas for parks and have shade giving trees in them.
2. If there is open space, then planting trees in front yards and / or back yards
3. No front yard? Is there a terrace?
A roof garden will also do. If not at least a balcony garden will give you that feeling of freshness and rejuvenation!
4. A few potted plants will greatly enhance the mood and aesthetics of living spaces.
Why don't we start today?