Town planners must be asked to work right
We Asked: Construction of flyovers and over-bridges is causing a rapid fall in urban/semi-urban greenery. How do you think we can balance nature and modern-day needs?
The construction of flyovers and over-bridges is causing a rapid fall in urban/semi-urban greenery. This does not necessarily have to be so. If only town planners were committed to the task of preserving the urban and semi-urban greens, much of the problems that we today encounter could have been prevented. It is the misplaced belief that trees could be grown elsewhere and many more saplings could be planted to replace the trees lost in the construction drive that has facilitated the random cutting down of trees that took decades to grow. Saplings do not grow into trees overnight; they have to be nurtured for years before they can become verdant trees capable of replacing the green cover already lost in the bid to hastily build flyovers and over-bridges to deal with the increasing city and suburban traffic woes. Smart city planning is the key to balancing nature and modern-day needs. It has been done elsewhere and it can be done in India as well with “smart” planning. If central and state governments require their city planners to ensure minimal to no loss of trees in their efforts to build flyovers and over-bridges come what may, I am sure the desired results could be achieved. Surojit Mohan Gupta, Editing professional and guest lecturer, University of Honolulu
Constant development including construction of flyovers and over-bridges is causing rapid fall in urban/semi-urban greenery. These constructions are not only damaging the environment but also incur social and economic costs. However, this can be balanced by increasing the urban green spaces. Urban green spaces fulfill many functions in urban context that benefits people’s quality of life. The ecological benefits bestowed in green spaces range from protecting and maintaining the biodiversity to help in the mitigation of change and cannot be overlooked in today’s sustainable planning. Green spaces also play an important role in reduction of the energy costs of cooling buildings effectively. Green spaces in a city also provide social and psychological benefits. Urban green spaces, especially public parks and gardens provide resources for relaxation and recreation. Green spaces need to be uniformly distributed throughout the city area, and the total area occupied by green spaces in the city should be large enough to accommodate the city population needs. Bringing green space to the urban landscape can promote and inspire a better relationship with the environment while supporting important services. Green space is part of and also represents urban habitats and ecosystems. The promotion and conservation of green space in cities is in the hands of local and regional authorities. These are an excellent option to balance nature and modern day needs. Dr Sonika Kushwaha, President, Indian Biodiversity Conservation Society, Jhansi
Topic of the month: Segregation of garbage into dry and wet is a thing of the past, now the municipal waste is being dumped, burnt and simply ill-treated! Why do you think such slackness has crept in, who is mainly responsible and what should be done about it? You may send your views in 200 words at treetakemagazine@gmail. Please also attach a colour photo of yourself.