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6 Ways to Make a city more Environmentally Friendly - TNK Green

6 Ways to Make a city more Environmentally Friendly

The world is changing. Year after year, new record-breaking temperatures are recorded from Europe to Beijing. Storm surges and hurricanes batter coastal towns, and it is becoming clear that cities need to change and adapt to combat the worst effects of climate change. From battling the urban heat island effect to tackling environmental destruction and the ever-accelerating loss of biodiversity, here are six strategies cities can implement to adapt to become more resilient and environmentally friendly


Green Roofs

The Urban environment is covered in hard surfaces. Concrete roofs, sideways and roads dominate the urban landscapes. Green roofs are a great way to add natural habitat and bring vegetation into the inner city. Soil is an excellent thermal insulator, and above adding new environments for insects, it can also help regulate the internal temperatures in buildings and bring down the need for excessive air conditioning.


Rewilding unused plots

No matter how built up and dense, every city may have several hard-to-develop plots that sometimes stay empty for years. Allowing local communities to take temporary ownership and creating community gardens can help communities connect better, help reduce stress and anxiety and even help feed homeless or low-income families.


Planting Large Trees

It may not always be possible in highly developed spaces since access to soil might be challenging. However, adding large trees to the streets can create shade, provide bird shelter, reduce street noises, and reduce ambient temperatures by as much as 5 degrees Celsius.


Introduce Bioswales

Due to hard surfaces accumulating rainwater during downpours, cities are uniquely threatened by flooding when stormwater systems become overwhelmed. Introducing Bioswales can help control water while cleaning it and replenishing groundwater aquafers in our dense spaces.


Encourage Indigenous and endemic planting.

A lush tropical garden in the desert might be beautiful but can be a pain to care for and maintain. In the past ten years, the importance of local planting has gained more awareness, with many more indigenous nurseries cultivating an ever-increasing variety of alternatives for invasive and exotic species. The benefit of planting endemic species is that they have evolved to grow and thrive in their ecosystems and, once established, will require less maintenance. As an added benefit, they provide food for thousands of birds, mammals and insects that often prefer to feed on these known species.


Curbing Urban Sprawl

This might be the most challenging problem to solve. With almost 60% of all people set to live in cities by 2030, there is a lack of enough space to house all these people. That’s why as cities densify, they also spread ever further into previously untouched land leading to further destruction of their local ecosystems and loss of biodiversity.

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