Landscaping is moving away from the days of white picket fences and manicured lawns. We are quickly learning there are smarter, more beneficial, and therefore more beautiful, ways to design landscaping so it works for us, and the environment. This is especially critical in urban areas where greenery is sparse10, and urban materials are unforgiving to climate fluctuations.
Transforming our urban landscaping is key to creating more resilient city spaces, and beautifying our communities. Recent studies have shown that urban areas with fewer trees are 10 degrees hotter on average than areas with robust tree canopies. Among other issues, the added heat leads to negative health consequences, and adding trees, shrubs, and other greenery back into these areas can revitalize an entire community.
Sustainable landscaping, especially in California, can be used to capture and save water, making communities more drought resistant. In fact, planting native and water conscious species can reduce landscape water needs by 70 to 80 percent. Sustainable landscaping (such as native plants) also captures water better than concrete or grass, preventing flooding and pollution. These spaces also improve soil health and have increased rates of carbon capture, moderating temperature and curbing climate change effects.
Lastly, outdoor spaces create a community environment. These areas are parks, meeting places, and gardens where people can foster climate resilience and community spirit.