Climate change and deforestation are one of the main topics on the agenda. But what happens if we focus on forestry in urban environments?

This is still an unclear and unexplored issue, but one that the city of London is taking on thanks to ‘Community Green Space Grants 2019‘.

Four months ago, the Mayor awarded £1.27 million to 78 community projects to help them improve and create green spaces across the capital. These projects are running until February 2020 and here are some useful facts we should all know:

How forests improves our lives

The first time I interfaced with the urban forestry issue was during a trip to Copenhagen where I could see with my own eyes a green-city model.

In fact, at my university professors are talking more and more often about the urbanisation of forestry. And after browsing the web I discovered that the Mayor of London is also taking this issues seriously, so I decided to understand what the term ‘forestation’ actually implies.

What should we know?

Urban trees and green spaces are critically important to the identity that we build every day. Trees helps to mark the passing of time and open a window for observing and appreciating the cycle of nature, which is also the cycle of our life. Bringing forests into cities or creating forested cities means transforming carbon dioxide into fertiliser to feed plants.

In view of this, new methods of city planning must be adopted based on a unique British model that takes certain key factors into account. As an interesting fact, the European countries most suffering from a lack of urban green spaces are mainly the Mediterranean ones.

More trees and greenery means more absorption of the emissions generated by cars and public transport, as well as more water vapour released into the air which decreases temperatures and contributes to humidity.

How can we deal with pressing environmental problems?

When people talk about environmental problems our mind thinks: desertification, pollution of the seas and deforestation — but the cities where we live are the main problem to the air quality. Our cities are struggling to cope with these consequences because they were built in an inefficient way. Which is precisely why it is time we made them:

  • Greener: a colour often associated with positive vibes.
  • Wilder: biodiversity is important for preserving as much of the original natural vegetation, grasslands and forests as possible. These forming unique habitats for native plants and animals.
  • Cleaner: well-managed and healthy urban forests can help to maintain and improve air and water quality in and around cities.

This article is not about the effects of climate change — already widely known — but about wanting to make all of us more aware of the importance of fostering greener environments inside and outside our homes. We should cooperate with each other so that green spaces are present everywhere; from the great cities of northern Europe to the small suburbs of Mediterranean countries.

This is a new and exciting  challenge for us, creating a new design method for cities where everyone can thrive.

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