Concrete jungles are being infiltrated with urban green spaces as 31 major cities, including London, Barcelona, and Milan, have signed a declaration to invest in reintroducing nature to their metropolises.
Mayors of each city agreed to strive for the C40 cities network goal of transforming 30 to 40 percent of built-up city surface into green spaces that are more easily accessed by locals and tourists. These spaces include parks, tree-lined streets, and permeable spaces to absorb water and prevent flooding.
There is still time for cities to submit more ideas to achieve these goals, however, some have already been suggested. Milan, for instance, pledged to plant three million trees in the city by 2030, and in Barcelona, authorities have offered to cover 75 percent of the cost of new green rooftops to create urban allotments to be used for generating renewable energy.
The Covid-19 crisis has opened everyone’s eyes to the importance of making urban spaces greener and healthier.
“The green and just recovery that is needed to create more sustainable and healthier cities sees urban nature as a key element for building back better,” says Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan.
“In Milan, we are committed to…[using] nature-based solutions to increase resilience and protect citizens from the climate crisis, to refresh our neighborhoods with green areas and water, and to regenerate the urban environment in a sustainable manner.”
The cities involved in this effort hope that their investments in urban green spaces will improve the wellbeing of their citizens and help them adapt to extreme weather while supporting biodiversity.