Why Green Open Space are Important in Urban Areas?

Forest area outside the city, Source: freepik.com
  • City environment has been long plagued by many kind of environmental problems such as air pollution.
  • This is where an green open space is important in preserving the environments in the city area.
  • What can we do to reduce environmental problems in the city?

Urban life is always characterized by the density of population, the hustle and bustle of workers, and towering buildings. Not to mention the various construction projects underway and the traffic jams that occur in every corner of the city.

Additionally, we often see and know that in urban areas, there are numerous industrial and economic centers. Therefore, urban residents are always immersed in a busy routine with sometimes unpredictable schedules. They continue to struggle and work amidst the bustling city life.

In carrying out their activities, people are inevitably bound to transportation, which is one of the lifelines of the capital. Transportation is always associated with traffic congestion, roads filled with motorcyclists and car drivers.

If there is no solution for traffic congestion, the emissions will produce a lot of pollutants, which will worsen the air quality. Moreover, the emissions from industrial factories are hazardous to the atmosphere and contain toxins that are very harmful to people’s health.

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Why Is It Important to Have Green Spaces in the City?

The emission from vehicles and industries is not unfamiliar to the capital city’s residents. Nevertheless, we must be aware of how hazardous this pollutant is, both for the environment and the public’s health. There have been many incidents resulting from the dangers of this, such as air pollution.

Emission from various factories contributes a lot in air pollution. Source: freepik.com

Thick smoke or smog can reduce visibility for motorcyclists and drivers, hinder the process of photosynthesis in plants and affect the lives of animals. Moreover, the danger of smoke to human health includes decreased immune system, especially respiratory problems, such as bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, and pneumonia.

Even more dangerous, continuous exposure to air pollution can disrupt a person’s breathing ability and it turns out that this air pollution can also hinder human activities! For example, when people see thick smoke or smell strong odors, they become reluctant to engage in outdoor activities, such as sports, gardening, etc.

Even inside the house, we can be exposed to air pollution, which enters through the windows and can damage any electronic devices from which the characteristics of a smoke are corrosive. This could cause a short circuit that would end in fire incident.

Trees as the Most Important Element of Open Green Space

In urban areas, open green areas are important. Because trees in an open green area could absorb water during rainy seasons preventing the chance of flooding. Trees help to keep the air fresh during dry seasons by absorbing pollutant gases such as carbon dioxide in exchange of releasing oxygen. This process is called photosynthesis. Not only that, trees can also remove small dust particles, such as smoke and dust.

Illustration of how photosynthesis works. Source: freepik.com

Apart from being beneficial in reducing air pollution, trees can also be a home for many species. Insects, fungi, mosses, mammals, and even other plants need trees as their habitat. If one tree alone can be a home for such biodiversity, imagine if we plant dozens of trees. How lush and refreshing the atmosphere in the capital city would be.

Climate change is becoming an increasingly concerning issue, and there are many frightening aspects to it. Actually, we can overcome or reduce the dangers of climate change by doing what was mentioned earlier: planting more trees and open up more green areas. Because trees can help cool off the planet by absorbing and storing dangerous pollutants, like carbon dioxide into their stems, branches, and leaves, and releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.

Open Green Space in Jakarta

A crucial aspect of trees, especially for Jakarta, is their ability to reduce floods and clean the air from vehicles and factory emissions. It thus significantly improving the quality of life for its residents. Green open spaces are one of the keys to increasing greenery. But how many green open spaces are there in our capital city now?

According to data from the Provincial Government of DKI Jakarta, the province in Jakarta with the largest green open space is East Jakarta, at 26.2%, while the least is from West Jakarta, which is only 8.64%. These numbers are still far below the standard percentage of green open space for urban areas, which is 30% of the urban area.

These numbers, when compared with our neighboring countries such as Singapore is very different. Urban areas in Singapore already met the standard of urban green open space. It approximately around 47%, according to Jakarta Property Institute.

In managing green open spaces, Singapore also has special programs to protect urban areas from environmental degradation. Meanwhile, Jakarta still needs to strive to meet the standard percentage of open green space in urban areas.

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What We Can Do to Green the City?

Trees that keep the air fresh. Source: unsplash.com

We can do many things to increase green open spaces in Jakarta. One of them is to start a dialogue with the local government to realize the construction of green parks in various corners of the city. Thus, people can rest, play, unwind in these parks, and also reduce heatwaves.

Another thing we can do is planting trees along the streets. Joining or creating communities whose activities involve tree planting every week is also possible. Tree planting can be done not only along the streets but also in parks, on empty lands that can function to reduce air pollution and even mitigate floods that usually occur during the rainy season.

Collaboration between the government and the private sector is crucial. Cooperation between both parties is essential. However, don’t forget to involve general public as well, with the aim of discussing together in building green projects for the capital city and utilizing existing resources and expertise.

Lastly, we can educate and raise awareness in the community about the importance of environmental conservation. And don’t forget to always involve in every activity so that gradually we can encouraged them to change their behavior.

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Editor: Ken Hitana Prakarsi


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