As urban population levels around the world increase and the need for housing rises, the need for space is at the limit in urban areas. However, despite several notable efforts to integrate green space in urban areas, wildlife isn’t often an important consideration for urban planners, despite studies showing the benefits that it can bring to both humans and ecosystems.
It is possible that restoring biodiversity to cities will require huge areas of land that are set aside to restore habitat. It is, however, possible to make use of relatively small areas like transport corridors, verges, and the edges of sports fields. Imagine a concept like “land sharing” rather than “land sparing.”
The concept of turning urban areas into green spaces isn’t something new. Allotment vegetable gardens that have been for decades a part of British suburbs and are now experiencing a resurgence, as do community gardens across Australia.
These gardens are definitely ideal for sustaining food production and participation in the community. We believe the same efforts must be focused on the creation of green spaces that are populated with native plants for wildlife that could thrive as well.
Benefits of biodiversity
Cities can be a hostile environment for wildlife. Even though certain species of rare remain in certain cities, the loss of habitats, as well as the growth of urban areas, has led to a variety of small-scale disappearances. Many species are left with only a few habitats or reserves. “Green corridors” through the built environment could link the fragments of habitat together and keep urban species from being trapped in small areas – and that’s the place where native plants can be of help.
Cities are typically built in fertile areas along coastlines. Because of their furtiveness, they generally are the home of a large number of species, meaning that the planting of native vegetation in public spaces could assist a range of species.
A study conducted in Melbourne discovered that native vegetation that grows in urban areas is vital to preserve native pollinators. Introduced plants are beneficial only to introduced bees. However, with the right habitat, even tiny mammals like bandicoots are able to survive in urban environments.
Benefits for individuals
The natural green spaces in cities can also serve to inform communities about their biodiversity. Community gardens are an effective method to connect people and create a sense of belonging and community cohesion.
Native landscaping for playgrounds. Simon Pawley, Sustainable Outdoors
The majority of urban dwellers have only a few or no interactions with nature. This ” extinction of experience” could cause them to feel uninterested in conserving. Green space allows city dwellers to reconnect with nature. In the event that these areas contain native plants rather than introduced trees, they can have the additional benefit of introducing people to the native vegetation, thereby making them feel more connected to their culture.
Where do you share your information?
There are plenty of areas in urban areas that could be altered to attract native species, with very little or no impact on their purpose. Imagine your most typical Australian parks, for instance, vast expanses of grass and small gum trees. Biodiversity systems are more complicated, consisting of large trees as well as smaller grasses, shrubs, and herbs, all of which provide diverse habitats to many species. By constructing native gardens around trees that are single, along the edges of parks, or in defined zones (even in playgrounds! ) In this way, we can build intricate layers of habitats for our wildlife without having to sacrifice areas for picnics.
Verges are often thought of as places where we can place our vehicles or wheelie bins. However, grass borders are a neglected area that could be used to grow native plants. This will not only enhance the look of the streetscape but also reduce the use of water and the need for mowing.