Urban semi-nature is a term used to refer to the growing number of communities which are built around nature. These include ‘city farms’, ‘urban gardens’ and other forms of living within or near cities. They have been created primarily because it is possible for people to live closer together without having to travel far from their homes than they could before, and because nature provides many benefits such as clean air, water, food production and recreation.
The first urban semi-natural community was established in New York City in the early 20th century. Since then there have been numerous others, most notably in London, Paris and Barcelona. Many of these communities are run by non-profit organisations (NGOs) with the aim of improving quality of life for local residents and promoting sustainable development.
Urban semi-natures are often referred to as ‘green towns’. However, some critics argue that the term is misleading since they do not necessarily promote sustainability. Others say that the term implies that human beings are somehow superior to nature. There is no consensus on what exactly constitutes a green town and how it differs from other types of urbanisation.
Green towns are seen as a possible solution to many of the problems created by urban sprawl and globalisation. They are seen as an environmentally friendly way of living since they make better use of resources, especially land, than conventional urban developments. They can also contribute to social welfare by providing local food and recreational facilities. In addition, studies have shown that living in greener areas can have positive effects on physical and mental health.
Green towns are a relatively new concept and more research needs to be done on them. It is not clear whether they can be successful without the support of local or national government. There is also disagreement on how exactly they can best contribute to sustainable development.
Sources & references used in this article:
Linking Man and Nature Landscape Systems by SK HONG – Landscape Ecological Applications in Man-Influenced …, 2008 – Springer
Biologists bridging science and the conservation movement: The rise of nature conservation and nature management in the Netherlands, 1850-1950 by HJ van der Windt – Environment and History, 2012 – ingentaconnect.com
Philosophical and practical challenges to the design and management of plantings in urban greenspace in the 21st century by J Hitchmough – International Conference on Urban Horticulture 643, 2002 – actahort.org
LINKING MAN AND NATURE LANDSCAPE SYSTEMS by SK HONG – IN MAN-INFLUENCED AREAS – academia.edu