Green Spaces in the Philippines: Preserving Nature to Enhance Urban Life

Green Spaces in the Philippines: Preserving Nature to Enhance Urban Life

With the rise and evolution of modernized urban cities comes a demand for spaces specifically dedicated to preserving nature, such as Green Spaces. But what exactly are Green Spaces? How can we introduce them in the Philippines? And what are the benefits of having them?

Green spaces, also known as ‘blue spaces’ or ‘urban spaces’, are essentially vegetated land or bodies of water within urban areas. They are defined as areas partly or completely covered with trees, shrubs, grass, or other vegetation. Green spaces are integral to urban planning as they provide buffers for busy roads and residential areas, thereby reducing noise pollution. They also foster community building by offering open spaces where people can escape the bustle of city life and avoid feelings of crowding and claustrophobia.

While Filipino citizens are increasingly advocating for more green spaces across the country, notable examples already exist:

  • Makati: Legazpi Active Park
  • Marikina: River Park
  • Bonifacio Global City: Greenway Park
  • Metro Manila: ASEAN Garden

These spaces represent just a fraction of the green areas open for public enjoyment in the Philippines, with hopes for more to be established in the future. Green spaces offer benefits beyond environmental sustainability, notably improving human health by mitigating pollution and reducing the urban heat island effect—a phenomenon where built-up areas trap heat, making them several degrees warmer than rural surroundings.

Benefits of Green Spaces

Green spaces provide significant environmental support, promoting greenery and biodiversity. According to Rakhshandehroo et al. (2017), they help conserve nature, stabilize air temperatures, reduce air and noise pollution, and cleanse contaminants from vehicle and building emissions. By increasing greenery, green spaces minimize the environmental risks associated with urbanization.

Another key benefit is their positive impact on human well-being, both physical and mental. Green spaces lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels, and enhance social interaction. Plants in these areas absorb pollutants linked to heart and lung problems, contributing to healthier urban environments.

Benefits of Introducing Green Spaces in the Philippines

Introducing green spaces in the Philippines supports the preservation of its rich biodiversity and ecosystems. The Philippines, known for its tropical islands and forests, hosts 5% of the world’s flora and numerous endangered species. However, rapid urbanization has led to significant habitat loss, threatening this biodiversity. Green spaces can help mitigate these losses, fostering Filipino culture and protecting natural habitats.

How Can We Introduce Them?

Education is a powerful tool for promoting green spaces among citizens and policymakers. By highlighting the benefits of green spaces, we can encourage government officials to prioritize their development over skyscrapers, promoting environmental sustainability.

Are Green Spaces Purely for Recreational Purposes?

While often associated with parks, green spaces are not purely recreational. They play a critical role in environmental stability and sustainability by supporting diverse ecosystems, preventing soil erosion, and improving rainwater drainage. Thus, while citizens enjoy these areas for relaxation and outdoor activities, green spaces also provide essential environmental benefits.

References:

Published on May 27, 2024.
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