Green spaces are often seen as a luxury. But there’s more to these spaces than their curb appeal, particularly in cities characterized by housing densities.
Luscious green gardens, parks and sports fields, wetlands, and natural woods are vital components of the urban ecosystem.
Recent studies have shown the importance of incorporating green spaces in urban planning, captured in terms of environmental, social, economic, and health benefits.
Benefits of Having a Green Space around Your Home or Office
Living in close proximity to trees and bushes offers a wide variety of benefits. Here are the advantages of being connected with natural green spaces at home or office:
Improved Air Quality
Unknown to many, the air around us contains a shocking amount of pollutants. From toxic motor vehicle exhaust fumes to household sprays and cleaners, there’s only so much that the air can hold.
Trees are constantly working hard to remove these pollutants from the air and provide us with fresh oxygen to breathe. Research shows that one acre of trees can filter out 13 tons of gas and particulate matter on a yearly basis.
Cooler Indoor Atmosphere
The effects of pollution can cause too much heat to be trapped in built-up areas, a phenomenon called the urban heat island effect. With the hot air trapped in concrete structures and narrow roads, urban air temperatures can soar by 3-4˚C relative to the surrounding countryside.
Hotter indoor temperatures mean increased demand for cooling. And the ripple effect is intensified fossil fuel consumption, increased air pollutants, and harmful smog on our streets.
Surrounding your home with green bushes helps humidify the air through evaporative cooling, thus creating a more temperate indoor atmosphere. This also helps save on air conditioning expenses.
Better Stress Relief
There’s something about a green space that is so refreshing to the senses and soul. Greenery, in general, is linked to improved cortisol levels and psychological well-being.
No doubt even a simple stroll in the balcony garden or a trip to the backyard can greatly help reduce feelings of stress. So much so that greenery is often termed soul food.
Besides, adding an urban forest into your home can give you things to do that don’t involve social media or the internet. You could use open green spaces for festivals, celebrations, and events that make you feel happier and more satisfied.
Higher Property Value
The beauty of gardens naturally appeals to humans, so it’s no surprise that landscaped homes fetch higher prices. Indeed, everyone needs a quiet place to rejuvenate and to re-energize their feelings and senses.
And that’s a good enough reason to incorporate greenery into your home. Homes that have shimmering, rustling trees complete with radiant flower beds attract a lot of attention.
If you are planning to put your property on sale, it’s a good idea to embellish it with green spaces. A well-maintained green space can increase a home’s value by as much as 20%.
Types of Green Spaces You Can Add to Your Home
You might have thought that urban forests require acres and acres of space to thrive. That’s not exactly the case. With careful planning, gardens can thrive in spaces as small as an average parking lot.
Below are the common types of green spaces you can add to your home as inspired by these furnished properties.
Add a Split-Level Garden
Planting a split-level garden is a practical way to add character and whimsy to your yard. To create a split-level design, divide the garden into multi-tier beds, each with its own look, feel, and purpose.
Combine the low profile plants with plants arranged at varying height levels. The goal is to create the impression that the space is surrounded by plants.
When it’s done right, a split-level garden produces a striking geometric profile that’s gentle but distinctively vibrant. You’ll end up with dynamic focal points that attract the eye and retain attention.
Create an Outdoor Play Space
Kids can get off their devices when they have something fun to do outside. Consider building an outdoor play area so that kids can spend more time outside and less time on their devices.
Adults can get in on the action, too. In that case, invest in adult-sized activities by building a basketball hoop, a life-sized chess game, or anything your family enjoys doing.
Create a Wildlife Habitat
A wildlife habitat makes a space beautiful and fun, let alone helping the local ecosystem to grow and thrive. By creating wildlife habitats, you are not only providing food and shelter for local birds and bugs but also helping them stay safe and alive.
Setting up a wildlife habitat in your backyard is easy. All you need to do is get some nest boxes, birdbaths, bird feeders, and your local community’s flora. You might also want to invest in bird-watching binoculars. Then, let the birding begin.
Investing in green spaces and tree cover can help address so many global challenges that we face today. From social and economic urban sustainability to environmental and psychological perspectives, a healthy dose of nature is a remedy we can never have enough of.
Now the time has come when we need to acknowledge the tangible benefits of green spaces and make them accessible to all.