The Numerous Benefit Of Urban Greening On Health - See Details
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Trees in cities reduce air pollution, absorb carbon and protect people during heat waves, saving megacities more than $500 million a year in healthcare, energy costs, and environmental protection, according to new research.
With one in ten people predicted to live in cities of more than 10 million inhabitants by 2030, urban forests can make these spaces healthier and more affordable, a study by the State University of New York (SUNY) said.
Abuja is one of such cities that can boost of urban greening. Both Federal Government and Non-governmental organizations have at different times launched campaigns to sensitize and get people to plant trees for a sustainable environment.
Among the tree planting exercises include the initiative by the Association of Professional Women Engineer in Nigeria, the ‘Go Green’ initiative where tree planting campaign has been taken to government schools in the Federal Capital Territory.
"Greening urban areas is critical," the lead author, Theodore Endreny of SUNY's College of Environmental Science and Forestry, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
"Trees are immeasurably important for human well-being and biodiversity, the underpinning of our quality of life."
Urban forests can lower the "urban heat island effect" of cities, which are often several degrees warmer than nearby rural areas, worsening air and water pollution and making sweltering workers less productive, the study said.
Plants cool air around them through transpiration and their leaves block heat from the sun, as well as absorbing noise.
During heatwaves, as temperatures rise, trees can cool buildings, potentially reducing the cost of fans and air conditioning, the study said.
The researchers, who focused on 10 megacities across the globe including Beijing, Moscow and Buenos Aires, found the benefits of urban forests nothing that; this could nearly double if more trees were planted in areas such as sidewalks, plazas, and parking lots.
"If we focus our efforts outside the city, the biggest beneficiaries of (trees) are being neglected," Endreny said, as more than 700 million people live in the world's 40 megacities.