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Urban greenery helps avert multiple crises for dryland cities

Wednesday, January 25 , 2023 49

Quality of life, especially of vulnerable groups in arid zones, can be significantly improved by integrating multipurpose urban trees and shrubs in urban design and urban development initiatives. In this context, urban forestry and urban greening are valuable tools for strengthening the resilience of dryland cities and supporting sustainable urban development, says a new report launched recently by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Rapidly expanding cities in very dry parts of the world must be turned into "green urban oases" to ensure they become both healthier places to live in and more resilient to climate change. Some 35 percent of the world’s largest cities are built in the world’s drylands. In all, they are home to more than 2 billion people, 90 percent of them in developing countries. According to the report, Urban forestry and urban greening in drylands, these sprawling and crowded dryland cities face a high risk of social, environmental and economic crisis as they grow. They are becoming hotter and more polluted and face mounting pressure on their scarce natural resources and weak infrastructure, making them among the most vulnerable places in the world to external shocks from the extreme weather events that climate change brings.

“Preserving and planting trees in these cities has been shown to have a hugely beneficial effect on the lives and health of the people who live there,” said Zhimin Wu, Director of FAO’s Forestry Division. “It is possible to do this even with the very limited amounts of water available in these areas.”

You can find the whole report and download it from the FAO website: Urban greenery helps avert multiple crises for dryland cities, FAO report shows

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