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How to green the urban landscape?


How to green the urban landscape?

Today’s cities face the challenge of balancing rapid urbanisation with the need to protect the environment and improve the quality of life for residents. One key aspect of this challenge is the greening of urban landscapes to improve aesthetics, air quality, public health and biodiversity conservation. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of strategies and innovative solutions to green urban spaces.

Benefits of Urban Landscape Greening

Greening urban areas has numerous benefits both for people and the environment. Carbon-absorbing vegetation can help reduce the greenhouse effect, regulate urban temperatures and improve air quality by filtering pollutants. In addition, green spaces encourage physical activity, improving the mental and physical health of residents. Reducing the urban heat island effect through greenery contributes to lowering air temperatures and improving thermal comfort in the city. Creating green areas also increases biodiversity, supports urban ecosystems and maintains biological balance. Greenery in the city also positively impacts residents’ mental health, reducing stress and improving mood. Vegetation also acts as a natural sound barrier, dampening urban noise and improving residents’ quality of life. In addition, the creation of green spaces can support local communities by encouraging active participation in social and environmental education projects. These benefits underline the importance of greening urban landscapes as a key element in building sustainable and people-friendly cities.

Green Infrastructure

Green infrastructure is a comprehensive approach to urban planning that integrates natural and artificial elements to create sustainable, environmentally friendly and functional urban areas. It is an approach that uses various forms of greenery, such as parks, tree avenues, gardens, green roofs or green walls, to improve the quality of life for residents and the functioning of cities. Green infrastructure contributes to creating urban environments that are more resilient to climate change and weather extremes through temperature regulation, rainwater retention and air purification. Additionally, by integrating natural elements into urban structures, green infrastructure supports biodiversity and creates spaces for recreation, leisure and physical activity for residents. In this way, green infrastructure becomes not only an important tool in building sustainable cities, but also promotes the quality of life and health of residents, while contributing to the protection and preservation of the environment.

Methods for Greening Urban Spaces

Green roofs

Green roofs are one of the most popular methods of greening urban spaces, with many environmental and community benefits. It involves covering the roof of a building with a layer of vegetation, thus creating a green surface on the roof. This reduces the urban heat island effect through the absorption of heat by the vegetation and through the transpiration processes of the plants, which cools the air. In addition, plants on green roofs help to filter the air by absorbing pollutants and harmful chemicals, helping to improve air quality in the city. The additional layer of vegetation on the roof also acts as thermal insulation, helping to maintain a stable temperature inside the building and reducing the energy required to heat or cool the building. In addition, vegetation on green roofs absorbs some of the rainwater, reducing the amount of water that runs off into the municipal sewer system helping to reduce the risk of flooding and protecting local water bodies from pollution. By utilising space that is often left unused, green roofs contribute to increasing the amount of green space in the city and improving the aesthetics of the urban landscape. The additional layer of vegetation also acts as a thermal and mechanical shield, protecting the roof from the damaging effects of the weather, which can extend its life and reduce the need for maintenance. Green roofs are therefore not only an effective method of greening urban spaces but also provide an innovative solution for sustainable urban development, with numerous benefits for both the environment and local communities.

Green walls

Green walls, also known as vertical gardens or vertical gardens, are another innovative method of greening urban spaces. They involve growing vegetation on vertical surfaces such as building walls or fences, creating striking and functional greenery in urban spaces. In this way, the urban heat island effect can be reduced by cooling the environment through transpiration of plants and improving air quality by absorbing harmful chemicals and pollutants. In addition, green walls add aesthetics and charm to urban spaces, improving the appearance of the urban landscape and the enjoyment of the public. Vegetation on green walls also creates additional habitat for a variety of plant, insect and bird species, supporting biodiversity in the city. The additional layer of vegetation on the walls acts as thermal insulation, helping to maintain a stable indoor temperature and reducing energy consumption. In addition, using unused surfaces, such as vertical building walls or fences, to create green spaces allows maximum use of available space to green the urban landscape. 

Vertical parks

Vertical parks are an innovative urban planning solution that involves creating parks and green spaces on vertical structures such as buildings or bridges. It is a type of natural environment that has been integrated into urban spaces to provide residents with access to nature, even in an urban environment. They make it possible to make use of unused space such as vertical structures, which often remain unused or are only used for functional purposes. Transforming these structures into green spaces allows maximum use of the available space to green up urban areas. Greenery in vertical parks adds aesthetics and charm to urban spaces, creating a pleasant visual experience for residents and visitors. Vertical parks can also act as places of recreation and leisure for city dwellers, providing space for walking, relaxing in nature and hosting a variety of community events. They are therefore not only part of the urban landscape, but also have an important social and environmental function, contributing to the quality of life in the city by providing access to nature, improving air quality and stimulating recreational and social activities.

Urban Tree Planting Programmes

Planting trees in urban areas is one of the key greening methods that contribute to improving the quality of the urban environment and the aesthetics of the landscape. Tree planting programmes are often led by municipal authorities, NGOs and local communities and aim to increase the number of trees in the city and encourage residents to actively participate in the process of creating green spaces. Planting trees helps to increase biodiversity, absorb carbon dioxide, improve air quality by filtering pollutants and create shade and cooling on hot days. In addition, trees have an important ecological role, providing shelter and food for a variety of animal species and contributing to soil conservation and regulation of the water cycle. Tree planting programmes can be an effective tool in combating climate change and adapting cities to new environmental conditions, as well as building social ties and a sense of community among residents. Therefore, investment in tree planting is a key component of sustainable urban development strategies, helping to create more people- and nature-friendly cities.

Green Infrastructure in Singapore

Singapore is a great example of the use of green infrastructure in urban planning, especially in the context of sustainable urban development. Despite limited space and dense development, Singapore successfully integrates a variety of green elements into its urban infrastructure.

Botanic Gardens and Public Parks

Singapore has many lovely botanical gardens, the most famous of which is the Singapore Botanic Gardens. This place is not only a recreational destination for locals and tourists, but also acts as a scientific centre, promoting the protection and preservation of botanical heritage. Gardens by the Bay, another well-known park in Singapore, is located in the heart of the city and is famous for its futuristic Supertrees structures, which are not only a tourist attraction but also have practical uses such as solar energy harvesting and rainwater collection.

Green roofs

In Singapore, green roofs are widely used, both in commercial and residential buildings. The Singapore government is actively promoting the practice through financial incentives and regulations for new buildings. Green roofs help to retain rainwater, reduce the urban heat island effect and improve the aesthetics of the cityscape.

Vertical garden at Supertree Grove

Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay is one of the most distinctive features of Singapore’s urban landscape. These impressive metal structures are covered with vegetation that not only looks beautiful, but also contributes to air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. In addition, the evening light shows on the Supertrees are a popular tourist attraction.

Tree avenues

Singapore has numerous tree planting programmes along streets and alleys to improve the city’s microclimate and provide shade and cooling on hot days. 

Rainwater retention system

Singapore is known for its advanced rainwater retention systems to manage rainfall and prevent flooding. These systems include retention basins, rainwater harvesting tanks and even underground water storage tanks to help collect and reuse rainwater.

Through innovative approaches to green infrastructure, Singapore has become a world leader in urban sustainability, demonstrating that harmony between nature and urban development can be achieved, with numerous benefits for residents and the environment.

The Impact of Local Communities

Local communities play a key role in the greening of the urban landscape, as their involvement can make a significant difference to the effectiveness and sustainability of green infrastructure projects. Here are some ways in which local communities can influence the greening of the urban landscape:

1. Active participation in the decision-making process

Local communities can take part in the decision-making process for urban planning and greening by participating in public consultations, public meetings and panel discussions. Their knowledge and opinions can be a valuable source of information for city decision makers, helping to shape projects according to the needs and expectations of residents.

2. Participation in green infrastructure projects

Local communities can be involved in the various stages of greening projects, from the planning phase through to design, implementation and maintenance. They can contribute valuable ideas, identify local needs and preferences and actively participate in green space care and maintenance activities.

3. Education and promotion

Local communities can act as ambassadors for greening by educating other residents about the benefits of urban greening, methods of creating and maintaining it and the need to protect the environment. Through promotional events, workshops, presentations and public campaigns, they can raise public awareness of the importance of green infrastructure for health, quality of life and urban sustainability.

4. Community engagement and volunteering

Local communities can actively engage in community service and volunteer activities related to green space maintenance, planting, nature conservation and organising nature-related events and activities. Through joint activities, residents can build social bonds, develop a sense of community and involvement, and a sense of pride in their place of residence.

5. Monitoring and evaluation of activities

Local communities can also play a role in monitoring and evaluating urban greening activities, raising problems and suggestions about the functioning of green spaces and evaluating the effectiveness of the actions taken by the municipal authorities and institutions responsible for managing urban greenery.

As a result, involving local communities in the process of greening the urban landscape can bring numerous benefits, including increasing public acceptance of green infrastructure projects, improving the quality of life of residents and increasing the efficiency and sustainability of greening efforts.

Challenges and Solutions

Challenges to greening the urban landscape can include a variety of issues such as lack of space, environmental pollution, limited water resources and public resistance. However, various solutions can contribute to overcoming these challenges:

Lack of space

Use of green roofs and green walls: Instead of taking up additional space at ground level, existing building structures can be used to create green spaces such as green roofs and green walls.

Conversion of wasteland: Some unused or undeveloped urban areas, such as abandoned industrial sites or parking lots, can be transformed into parks, community gardens or recreational spaces.

Environmental pollution

Selection of hardy plant species: Choosing plants that are resistant to atmospheric pollution can help maintain healthy vegetation in urban environments.

Improved air quality: Investment in emission reduction and pollution control programmes can help improve air quality, which will benefit urban vegetation.

Limited water resources

Rainwater retention systems: The use of advanced rainwater retention systems, such as retention basins and rainwater harvesting tanks, can help to manage water efficiently and meet the needs of vegetation.

Water conservation: Promote water efficiency in urban vegetation by using low-water-use irrigation systems and selecting drought-tolerant plants.

Public resistance

Education and public engagement: Educational campaigns and information meetings can help raise public awareness of the benefits of greening the urban landscape and encourage residents to actively participate in green infrastructure projects.

Public consultation: Conducting public consultations and taking residents’ opinions into account during the planning and implementation of greening projects can help to minimise public resistance and increase acceptance of municipal actions.


Overcoming the challenges of greening the urban landscape requires a balanced approach that takes into account a variety of factors such as community needs, environmental conditions and available resources. Through cooperation between local communities, city authorities, environmental experts, ecological foundations and other stakeholders, it is possible to contribute effectively to the creation of greener, people- and nature-friendly cities.