Urban biodiversity refers to the variety and variability among living organisms found in a city or urban areas and the ecological systems in which they occur. Urban biodiversity provides provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as flood and disease control; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational, and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient cycling, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.
Also known as green spaces, these urban areas offer sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of the city traffic and pollution , giving them opportunity to improve their health and well-being by connecting with nature.
In the Philippines local government units (LGUs) and NGOs are supporting projects for green spaces through the following approaches: 1) enrichment of Open Space Creating Sustainable and Livable Urban Environment through Turfing, 2)Landscaping, and Green Space Architecture. Some LGUs had designated areas as forest park or ecoparks to create more green spaces. Most noteable among these in the suburbs of Metro Manila are the La Mesa Ecopark in Quezon City and the Arroceros Forest Park in Manila.
Presently the following cities in the Philippines have initiated and integrated urban biodiversity into their plans and programs:
- Quezon City
- Caloocan City
These green spaces as reported by several studies has shown that city residents exposed to greenery live longer, healthier and calmer in making decisions when dealing with day-to-day challenges.
Various sectors are also maintreaming biodiversity in their respective fields to create green spaces. Government projects managers are designing roads to preserve the remaining green spaces and to have less impact on its biodiversity.
More construction firms are now incorporating “green designs or green architecture” in their infrastructures projects. Green architecture, or green design, is an approach to building that minimizes the harmful effects of construction projects on human health and the environment. The “green” architect or designer attempts to safeguard air, water, and earth by choosing eco-friendly building materials and construction practices.
Feeling and understanding the effects of climate change, the demand for city residential buildings and condominiums with touch of nature are becoming higher. Residential or commercial areas constructed or preserved with substantial tree cover are usually cooler than other areas that are devoid of greenery.