Urban Green Lungs in Asia

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Urban Green Lungs in Asia

Various photographers

 

 55229619.jpgSomewhere in every big Asian city, there is a green pocket, patch or park serving as a vital green lung amid a body of concrete.

These urban greens are where people can relax and breathe fresher air in cooler temperatures, away from the heat accumulated by the city.

They are the green venues that encourage and allow community get-togethers, as they showcase the nature.

They offer a place for a quick nap, a stretch, some exercise or play in an unconfined space; a mental break from the compression of concrete skyscrapers and sprawling suburbs, and a time-out from the stresses of modern-day life.

As growing city populations are squeezed into smaller high-rise apartments without gardens, they lose touch with nature and there are fewer places outdoors for children to play and older people to relax. These greens amid the greys, allow it.

Some of these Urban Green spaces are stylized and grand, with large trees and shady grassy spaces. Others are unannounced and informal, with a single row of trees clinging on to a dusty and polluted street.

Asia claims 99 of the world’s 100 most polluted cities. Cities in India and China dominate the 50 worst polluted cities in the world, though Bangladesh and Pakistan also have the dubious honour of scoring highly in this category.

The urban greens offer small lungs of fresh air. But they are far too few.

Air pollution and the goal of improving air quality in cities across the world underpin the theme of World Environment Day 2019, which is set to be held on June 5th.

We can’t stop breathing, says the United Nations, but we can do something about the quality of the air we breathe.

About seven million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution, with some four million of these deaths occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

And while increasing Asian cities’ green spaces is not the only way to obtain fresher air, it is an integral step toward achieving sustainable and liveable cities in the future.