Why We Need More Parks and Open Spaces in the Metro

June 11, 2019 10:01 am

For many people, urbanization is a sure sign of a particular area’s progress. What some fail to realize, though, is that the cities that truly thrive and prosper are the ones that incorporate parks and open spaces into their design. After all, cities aren’t just about the commercial establishments or the people that populate and frequent them. Take a look at Parklinks, for example; this upcoming joint venture between Ayala Land and Eton Properties has even been called their “greenest” urban estate, and with good reason.

There are a number of reasons why parks and open spaces are a critical part of pretty much any city. Metro Manila in particular, known for its heavy traffic, overpopulation, and pollution problems, is made all the more brighter by the fact that there are some parks and natural reserves that exist within its boundaries.

What roles do these parks and open spaces play, though? Why are they important considerations in city-building, even when they aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when the word “city” is mentioned?

Environmental Benefits of Parks and Open Spaces

For starters, having an abundance of parks and open spaces can counter what experts call the urban heat island effect. Picture a typical urban area, with the ground covered in asphalt and concrete. Physics tells us that due to the rules on how objects of certain colors absorb and reflect light, these dark, flat surfaces soak in a significant amount of it, convert it into heat energy, and throw that energy right back at us. This also has the rather unpleasant effect of contributing to the creation of smog. However, this phenomenon can be counteracted by increasing park space — areas rich in trees and grass — and “green roofs.” Not only will this help mitigate the urban heat island effect, but the abundance of trees and vegetation will also aid us in coping with storm water, especially in a country like the Philippines that gets hit by countless storms every year.

Another benefit of having more green areas is that the plants can help in reducing air pollution. Trees remove the pollutants in the air, thereby helping to manage the pollution levels in the city. Can you imagine how much it would cost if we had to resort to actually spending funds on restoration and anti-pollution efforts instead of letting trees prosper and do the work for us?

Still, another environmental benefit to establishing green areas in the city is that they serve as habitats for animals displaced by urbanization efforts. Not only will we protect the fauna that used to live within that particular area, but we will also be doing our part in maintaining the well-being of the local ecosystem.

Health and Societal Benefits of Parks and Open Spaces

Having parks and reserves full of trees and grass can also work wonders for the health and disposition of a city’s population.

In terms of physical activity, parks provide us with places to jog, play sports, or even just take leisurely walks. This prevents us from leading entirely sedentary lifestyles, while also allowing us to breathe in fresh air.

Studies have shown — and conventional knowledge tells us — that the color green can be quite relaxing and peaceful to look at. Now, if you had a rough day at work, wouldn’t you want to have a place where you can just sit quietly and appreciate nature?

Lastly, parks are great places for people to form connections and bond. Whether it’s through shared activities like early morning exercises or picnics, entertainment spectacles like concerts and contests, or even commercial pop-up events like weekend bazaars or specialty markets, having a venue to hold all of these will help foster camaraderie and a sense of community among the people living in the city.

Every urban development plan should include the establishment of green areas such as parks and open spaces. The innumerable benefits of these lovely places to the environment, to society, and to the rest of the world are simply too significant to ignore.

Be part of the development of a sustainable “green” community starting today. To know more about Parklinks and what’s in store for the property over the next ten years, give us a call.

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