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Green zones in urban areas: Quality of life and food security in times of crisis

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of urban centers, there are oases of peace and nature: green zones. These green spaces are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also play a crucial role in the quality of life of the urban population and in ensuring food security in times of crisis. In this article, we explore the importance of green zones in urban areas, particularly in terms of quality of life and food security.

Green zones improve the quality of life

Green zones are not just simple open spaces in the middle of concrete and asphalt, but act as the green lungs of the city. They offer numerous health benefits for residents. Studies have shown that access to green spaces improves well-being, reduces stress and can even increase life expectancy. Walking through a park or spending time in a botanical garden can help to improve your mental and physical state and strengthen your sense of connection with nature.

A study by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that access to green space close to home is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even certain cancers. [1]

Urban development for well-being

The integration of green zones into urban planning is crucial for creating liveable cities. By creating parks, gardens and urban woodlands, cities can increase their attractiveness and improve the quality of life of their residents. These green spaces not only serve as places for recreation, but also as habitats for a variety of plants and animals that contribute to the city’s biodiversity.

With their vision of the “garden in the city”, cities such as Singapore have shown how effectively green zones can be integrated into the urban environment to create a green and liveable cityscape. Through vertical gardens, green roofs and the creation of public parks, Singapore has significantly expanded its urban greenery and thus increased the well-being of its residents.

Food security in urban areas

In addition to improving the quality of life, green zones also play a crucial role in food security, especially in times of crisis. Urban agriculture, community gardens and vertical farmland can help to increase local food production and reduce dependence on external supply chains.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of local food sources became clear as global supply chains were disrupted and food shortages increased in some regions. Cities such as Detroit in the US have used their urban green spaces to encourage the production of fresh fruit and vegetables to boost the food security of their residents. [2]

Creation of community gardens

Community gardens are an example of successful initiatives to promote local food production and strengthen community ties in urban areas. These gardens enable residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables and promote the exchange of knowledge and resources within the community.

In cities like Berlin, community gardens have become popular meeting places where people from different backgrounds come together to garden and share the fruits of their labor. These gardens not only contribute to food security, but also promote social cohesion and integration.

The importance of green zones in urban areas

Green zones play a diverse and crucial role in urban areas. They improve the quality of life of residents, promote well-being and contribute to food security in times of crisis. Through targeted urban planning and the promotion of community gardens, cities can maximize their green spaces and create a sustainable and resilient urban environment.

In an increasingly urbanized world, it is crucial to recognize the importance of green zones and to promote and protect them as an integral part of the urban landscape.

[1]: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, “Access to Green Space Linked with Healthier Hearts, Minds”. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/access-to-green-space-linked-with-healthier-hearts-minds/

[2]: BBC News, “The rise of the coronavirus victory garden”. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200520-why-the-coronavirus-pandemic-has-lead-to-a-rise-in-gardening

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