Lahore: Today, the positive effect of a healthy environment on the quality of our everyday lives should be extremely apparent to everyone. Global warming, air pollution, toxic drinking water and a corrupted food supply are global and local issues that affect each one of us.
Reducing our carbon footprint by building parks and green spaces addresses many of these problems. In Karachi, for example, where average temperatures have risen greatly in recent years, citizens are calling for the creation of more green spaces to combat the intense heat.
For real estate investors and owners, going green has the added benefit of increasing property values.
It has been reported that cities with a high percentage of green, natural spaces like parks and gardens have a betterquality of life. More than 50 percent of the world’s population live in cities today. In 30 years, that number is projected to grow to around 70 percent. This means that green spaces are more crucial than ever.
According to Lamudi research, Pakistanis are intensely aware of these issues. In a recently conducted survey, the vast majority of respondents said they believe that sustainable and environmentally friendly properties are extremely important to them.
It is surprising that some people have not caught on and continually deny the issues that we are facing as a global population. If increasing the quality of life in our cities is not compelling enough, perhaps looking at it from a financial perspective will help. As previously mentioned, it has been reported that the value of properties with access to parks and green spaces are higher than those without.
Furthermore, as we have seen in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood with the construction of the High Line Park, even very expensive real estate can increase in value with newly constructed green spaces.
Reports from the US city of Chicago claim that real estate prices increased by about 7.1 percent in the six months leading up the grand opening of the Bloomingdale Trail, a park similar to New York City’s High Line.
And if that’s still not convincing enough, consider the mental health benefits of having access to green spaces. Parks and gardens benefit us all, but they do not benefit all of us equally. For poorer communities, the benefits are relatively greater.
Mental health services are out of reach for many of our cities’ poor. Since the affluent already have access to mental health services, the positive effect of parks and gardens on them is smaller. As such, green spaces are also a way of fighting class inequality.
Going green should be a forgone conclusion at this point. It benefits our minds, our bodies and our pockets. And more importantly, it is a path to justice for our poorer communities.