How do you Solve a Problem Like Manila?
A look at how parks and green open spaces can benefit cities and its inhabitants, and help in climate adaptation.
Published by GMA News Online
There’s more to green open spaces than simply keeping people’s mental well-being in check. Parks, as it turns out, can also help in improving people’s physical health. Even just exposure to green and natural environments, studies say, can help reduce incidents of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Proximity to nature also encourages healthier behavior and exercise.
Green open spaces are so important to people’s health that the World Health Organization has set a target of nine square meters of green per person. In fact, having parks within a 10 minute walking distance is said to be the most ideal.
Enough green spaces can help solve a city’s air pollution problem two ways. First, trees are natural air filters. In its lifetime, a single tree can absorb carbon from 42,000 vehicles.
Foliage also encourages active transport, which means that, to some extent, green spaces could help lower carbon emission in a city. While green open spaces alone won’t convince motorists to swap their cars for bikes, having ample natural factors in the city can most certainly help promote it.
Aside from air quality, green open spaces can also help mitigate heat, especially during summer. During the strictest lockdowns, with people having no access to malls and their air-conditioning, many NCR residents were forced to feel the summer heat in its full unforgiving glory.