By Cristián Frers
Building a city that deserves to be lived and achieving a comfortable way of life must have green areas among its strategic axes. Some develop by natural action; others are created by man who promotes the cultivation of plants with a purpose. The human being influences the development or decline of them, which arose naturally and were not planted.
If the number of public squares is compared to others in Latin America, our capital loses out: in a ranking of ten cities, prepared by the UN, including Mexico City, San Pablo and Santiago, Chile, it was placed second to last, with 6 m2 per inhabitant. Only Lima is behind, with two m2. The proportion dropped from 6 m2 in 2006 to 5.9 m2 in 2014. The difference seems little but, as the number is already very low, it is important to pay attention to it.
In one year he lost 26.5 hectares while adding 1.8 hectares in squares. The neighborhoods with the most parks are: Puerto Madero, San Nicolás, Retiro, Montserrat, San Telmo and Constitución. The neighborhoods with the least planted areas are Almagro and Boedo.
In the government, the Minister of Environment Eduardo Macchiavelli, admitted the lack of green spaces but stressed that it would be one of the aspects to improve during his administration.
The importance of having a sufficient quantity lies in complying, in order to quantify and assess the ecological benefits of the existence of trees and squares, to know the environmental quality of an urban area.
The deficit that so many Argentine cities present is due to not having accompanied urban development. The lack of investment in green spaces is seen in allocating fewer sites to increase them.
Some municipal governments find it difficult to conceive of this simple rule: as the population density increases, the squares are overwhelmed in their capacity, which requires the need to build others. The importance of them in the cities lies in the positive effects they have on the population, effects that can manifest themselves in the social sphere: in environmental awareness, in socio-cultural well-being and in the mental and physical health of citizens.
Among the environmental services that these urban green areas provide to the city we have: the capture of rainwater, the generation of oxygen, the reduction of the levels of pollutants in the air; the reduction of the effects of the so-called “heat islands”; the damping of noise levels; the reduction of soil erosion, in addition to representing places of refuge, protection and feeding of wild fauna.
The outdoor recreation centers must be in relation to other elements built in such a way that an individual can move within a city by moving from one point to another by bus, subway, by bicycle, on foot or running, enjoying life in the open air, away from noise and pollution, where the sounds of nature can be heard, as the formation of microclimates and ecosystems that cleanse our soul progresses.