In concrete jungles, the importance of biodiversity might not always be apparent. Yet, the presence of diverse plant and animal life in urban areas has far-reaching benefits that extend beyond mere aesthetics. From cleaner air to climate regulation, green spaces improve the quality of life for residents and commuters in towns and cities.
So, why is urban biodiversity important?
Improved Air Quality
Air pollution may be a problem more commonly associated with the world’s largest cities, but shockingly, 97 per cent of homes in the UK exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) limits for at least one of three key pollutants, while more than two-thirds breach all three. As air pollution worsens, effective measures are required to mitigate the discharge of harmful pollutants.
Biodiversity, particularly the presence of trees and plants in urban areas, contributes to cleaner air by absorbing pollutants and releasing oxygen. Through photosynthesis, plants trap carbon dioxide and other harmful gases, reducing the impact of air pollution, such as respiratory illnesses, and enhancing overall wellbeing for residents and commuters.
Urbanisation is highly disruptive to natural ecosystems, particularly the clearing of land for development, the contamination of soil and water by heavy metals and chemicals, and contamination and erosion caused by rainwater runoff.
Incorporating biodiversity helps to maintain and restore the natural ecological balance. By preserving and encouraging native flora and fauna, local ecosystems, which are vital for the survival of species and the overall health of the environment, flourish.
Effective Filtration And Absorption
Nature is a natural filter, especially in managing stormwater runoff. Plants, trees, and soil organisms work in tandem to filter and absorb pollutants from rainwater, preventing them from entering water bodies. This process improves the quality of water that percolates into aquifers or flows into reservoirs, safeguarding water sources for both people and wildlife.
Urban biodiversity plays a pivotal role in regulating the local climate. Trees and green spaces offer shade, reducing the heat island effect that is prevalent in many cities. By moderating temperature extremes, urban biodiversity helps to mitigate the impact of heatwaves, protecting residents from heat-related health risks and ensuring a more comfortable living and working environment.
Landslide And Erosion Prevention
Vegetation serves as a natural defence against erosion and landslides during heavy rainfall. Roots of plants and trees bind the soil, reducing the risk of displacement which minimises damage to property and reduces the risk of potentially dangerous situations, such as landslides.
Improving The Quality Of Life For Residents
Exposure to the natural world has been strongly linked to decreasing levels of anxiety, particularly in urban areas where concrete and tarmac may be in greater abundance than grass and trees. Parks, green spaces, and community gardens provide valuable opportunities for residents and commuters to relax and connect with the natural world, ultimately improving the overall quality of their life.
Contact GeoGrow To Find Out More
Through innovative solutions such as Rootlok, we can help to increase biodiversity in urban areas by establishing natural habitats that protect the landscape while supporting and encouraging valuable ecosystems. To find out more, please get in touch today.
Image Source: Canva