Poor communities can be forced out of their areas rewind Because of “green optimization,” according to a report by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL).
The report found that rebuilding can lead to higher housing prices as areas become more desirable and less likely to be affected by natural disasters such as floods. New tourism opportunities may also arise from enhanced green spaces and wildlife.
The report’s authors note that without careful implementation, “green amelioration” can occur, with communities running out of prices for their areas. The report recommends consulting and working with sociologists and other experts, as well as local communities, during any urban restoration project.
The report’s author, Natalie Pettorelli, of the ZSL Institute of Zoology, told The Guardian:[The rewilded area] They can be created in areas of deprivation and can cause the environment to improve. It’s greener, and because it’s greener and nicer, house prices go up.
This is not just an environmental problem, it is a socio-environmental problem. You have to take people into account all the time and figure out if you’re going to create inequality.”
She said this is not just an issue of restoring nature, but any improvements that have been made to urban areas, with safeguards necessary to ensure that local communities survive and enjoy new or improved green spaces, and have a say in what is being created.
“A lot of the people who work on rebuilding are environmentalists at heart — they sometimes forget about the social aspect,” Pettorelli said. “It has to be a common social reason – if you don’t take people into account, it won’t work in the long run.”
If these tensions are resolved, rebuilding could be positive for disadvantaged communities, which are usually most at risk from the negative effects of the climate crisis, including air pollution, heat waves and floods.
“This could actually be great, because if people learn to live with nature, it can… actually reduce inequality by getting all these mental and physical benefits, and reduce air pollution, which often affects people,” Pettorelli said. In disadvantaged areas for example, giving people a green space to enjoy.”
Rebuilding has long been associated with the reintroduction of large carnivores across vast, untouched landscapes, but the study said cities’ ecosystems could also become wilder, mitigating the damage from the climate crisis.
Although urban green spaces may be relatively small, when brought together — and linked — these patches cover a lot of land, so they may be vital for storing carbon and reversing biodiversity loss, the report said. By creating wetlands around towns and cities, the effects of flooding can be greatly reduced, green spaces added to buildings, and also the creation of wetlands. green areasUrban areas can be made cooler during heat waves.
The report noted other challenges posed by urban reconstruction, including the UK’s colonization of invasive alien species such as Japanese knotweed, which could benefit from low-intensity intervention methods for rooting and spread. The report also raised concerns that the public could be encouraged to release the species into inappropriate areas, so education about such projects is needed.
The report looked at good examples of urban rebuilding around the world, including Singapore, which has transformed the Calang River from a concrete straight channel into a wobbly haven of nature with lush river banks. The river was reconnected to the floodplain and better public access was created. This reduces flood risks, increases biodiversity, and provides a nice walking place for residents.
The report also highlighted Landschaftspark Duisburg-Nord in Germany, located in a former ironworks, which has become a popular picnic spot since it was left to nature for re-colonization.
Ecosystem engineers: animals that could be restored to UK cities
Pettorelli gave the Guardian examples of animals that could be reintroduced to UK cities.
These wetland-creating rodents can thrive on the outskirts of cities. It has already been reintroduced – in containers – outside London.
“This is a critically threatened species, which uses major rivers in the UK, and you can improve migration corridors for those species,” Pettorelli said.
Already reintroduced in Kent, southern cities with good open swamps can enjoy the revival of this amazing bird.
“Otters are doing really well in UK cities,” Pettorelli said. “They have been spotted in Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Bath – there is potential for them elsewhere.”