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Name: Frauline C.

Tadle Date: October 9, 2012 Course and Section: Eng 10- THY 2 Exercise/ Activity Title: Position Paper Dr. Maria Rhodora C. Ancheta

'A solution to make the lives of Filipino better.'

Urban Green Spaces Should Be A Must In exchange of the advance and urban life, people will have to endure a more stressful life. The burden of unstable price of basic needs such as food and electricity, demanding job and insufficient salary are already too much to handle. Yet, people should also survive the strain brought by congested traffic, all forms of pollution, overcrowded places, too much waste improperly disposed and higher temperature. These were the effects of environmental degredation due to urbanisation. As a consequence of attaining the desired results of urbanisation, we had sacrificed much of our natural resources and landscapes. We placed the control of our surroundings into our own hands. The continuous advancement of technology cost us the natural beauty of our country, especially Metro Manila. Just like last May 2011 when my family had our vacation to Bohol, the view of the island-province from above was really different from the aerial view of Manila. While Bohol looked stunning due to its green covered land for forests reserves and agricultture, Manila literally looked like a gigantic smokey mountain because of the heavily-packed land of houses, buildings and wastes. At the time that we decided to ride the vehicle towards urbanisation, we had paid it with our open or green spaces. The United States Environemental Protection Agency (EPA) defines green space as 'undeveloped (no buildings or other infrastructures) land but is accessible to the public' like forests and fields.Rural areas have the most amount of green areas since they are mainly used for agriculture. However, urban places is another question. The process of urbanisation has led people to convert green areas to buildings, concrete pavements and other infrastructures. To have a green space in the cities as big as those in Bohol and other provinces could've been impossible if it's not for the presence of parks, community garden and public plazas which make up the 'urban green spaces'.

Congress on Urban Green Spaces (CUGS) explained: Urban green spaces are public and private open spaces in urban areas, primarily covered by vegetation, which are directly or indirectly avaialable for users... are highly patchy and dynamic, formed by biophysical and ecological drivers on the one hand, and social and economic drivers on the other. Urban green spaces are mostly managed and man-made in nature. The ideal percentage of green space an urban areas should have is about 20%-30% in total but Metro Manila has only 13 %, mostly are located in Quezon City, based on a lecture given by Dr. Benjamin C. Vallejo, Jr. The University of he Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City is one those who make up the 13% urban green space of Metro Manila. The Quezon Memorial Circle is included, too, however, the multiplying number of business establishments inside the circle gradually kills this urban green space. Just like Quezon Memorial Circle, most of our urban green spaces are now being threatened to extinction. The realization on how urban green spaces help the city communities are just starting to dawn into the minds of the people, that's why they are really vulnerable to such actions. Most of people haven't yet know that loosing green spaces can cause severe problem that may last for many years. Obviously, urban green spaces such as urban wetlands can help to lessen the destructive effects of floods and smokes from vehicles. Also, urban green areas are also installed for aesthetic purposes. But this is not the whole of all the benefits we can get from having urban green areas. An article entitled Human Benefits of Green Spaces stated that the presence of green spaces in urban areas have physical, mental and social benefits (Barton and Pineo). The abundance of plants, especially trees produces more oxygen which makes the surrounding cooler than those places with less or no trees. Example, University of the Philippines in Diliman is for having abundant trees and grass-covered areas around the campus which makes its temperature lower by 2-BCC than those places around it. Studies have shown that interaction with the environment lets our psyche to recharge itself as nature allows involuntary attention (effortless and enjoyabe awareness) of sensory stimuli be activated. Relaxing the psyche can lead to less aggresion and violence of an individual. Roger Ulrich conducted a study on how nature affects the speed of recovery of patients. He

observed the examinations of patients whose room has nature view and those whose room faces the wall. He found out that patients with access to nature healed 8.5% faster than those who don't (Barton and Pineo). Green spaces also boost human health by lowering blood pressure and anxiety level which could've been caused by the relaxing feeling of nature aforementioned. Children with Attention Deficit Disorder can also bee healed by exposure to nature or green spaces (Deneen). Urban green spaces also give children the needed space to have physical outdoor activitie instead of confining themselves inside their homes doing nothing but playing with computer and psp. Activities that are done using the whole body promotes greater resistance and strong body. Crime rate in cities can also be reduced by putting urban green spaces. Less violence and aggression of people can decrease their tendencies of committing crime. Also, the constant presence of people due to green spaces can make criminals think twice of doing their modus as they could be easily be caught by a significant number of people and be imprisoned (Barton and Pineo). The government should install green areas rather than CCTV's. This action is more convinient and it's like hitting many birds with one stone you help your people be naturally healed, save the environment, less expenses against crime and impeding the destruction caused by natural phenomena for longer period of time. Green areas are now being used to increase the value of the products or services, just like in real estate. In fact, real estate housees with natural view in Hongkong have 18.66% higher value than those which do not have (CUGS). Commercial areas where green spaces are abundant also attracted more customers because of the perception green spaces assist in stimulating good impressions to the consumers, as based on a study conducted by Kathleen Wolf (Barton and Pineo). Green spaces also increase the productivity of workers. Due to the cooler environment caused by trees, their would be less need of ventilation such as air-conditioner and fan. Thus, consumption of energy would decrease along with electric bill. Making and using energy saving devices are not as effective as having green areas within the surroundings. Urban green spaces also increase the involvement of the community in public affairs. As it is open to the public, different types of people from different places can have a place to interact and held

their festivities and other social events. It abolishes the boundary among rich and the poor, intensifying the sense of equality in the people. Most of the population would call social equality as a myth and somethng that can't be achieved (Ellis-Christensen). But why give up if we haven't literally tried hard enough? We should take advantage of the possiblity of a favourable outcome of having green spaces to promote social equality. The over-all amount of green spaces in the country have reached its critical point. In the year 1999, the amount of forest covered area in the country have reduced to an alarming rate of 18.3%. (Peralta). It's over a decade ago and it's possible that it has decreased even more since more places have been recognized as urbanised. In the course of the depleting green spaces, especially in urban areas, the nature have already made a way to tell us the gravity of its destruction. Many have noted of the more destructive effects of typhoons and floods, irregular pattern of season as well as hotter temperature during summer. It is like the nature's way of telling us that becoming aware is not enough anymore. Actions are already should be taken from the public and from the institutions. To increase green spaces, not only in the cities and other urban settlements would be a tough job to accomplish. It requires a lot of efforts and intricate urban planning, a concept which importance is just recently appreciated. In other words, it is still undeveloped. Soledad M. Cagampang of the Law Center in the Universtiy of the Philippines suggested to have more experts, facilities for urban planning and cooperation between the gorvernment and the public. Nevertheless, even if it's a diffficult and on the edge of possibility, we know that something can be done. The existence of urban green spaces allow a place where urbanisation, environemental awareness, social equality and community development to co-exist harmoniously. In the urban society where all the stresses are coming from all directions, the potentials of urban green areas are things that should be harnessed more to help us overcome these strains. Urban green spaces are for public's benefit and not for few people's pockets and interests. To attain a healthy environment even if it is the city, we need to save, reserve and increase the green spaces of the whole country. It is a responsibility to ourselves and the future generation of our race.

WORKS CITED Barton , Susan and Pineo, Rebecca. Human Benefits of Green Spaces. Sustainable Landscape Series. Botanic Gardens, 31 January 2009. Web. Retrieved from http://ag.udel.edu/udbg/sl/humanwellness/Human_Benefits.pdf. 4 October 2012. Cagampang, Soledad. Urban Planning in the Philippines. Philippine Law Journal 41 (1966): 715-727. Web. Retrieved from http://law.upd.edu.ph/plj/images/files/PLJ%20volume%2041/PLJ%20volume %2041%20number%205%20-03-%20Soledad%20M.%20Cagampang-Notes%20and%20CommentsUrban%20Planning%20in%20the%20Philippines.pdf. 5 October 2012. Congress on Urban Green Spaces. Urbanisation and Urban Green Spaces. Green Cities: Green Minds. CUGS, 5-7 March 2012. Web. Retrieved from www. Cugs.in/Abstract.pdf. 4 October 2012. Deneen, Sally. Natural Deficit Disorder. The Daily Green. Thedailyreen.com., n.d. Web. Retrieved from http://www.thedailygreen.com/living-green/definitions/nature-deficit-disorder. 8 October 2012. Ellis-Christensen, Tricia. What is Social Equality? wiseGeek. Wisegeek.com., 29 September 2012. Retrieved from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-social-equality.htm. 8 October 2012. Peralta, Elano O. Forests for poverty alleviation: The response of academic institutions in the Philippines. Proceedings of the Workshop on Forests for Poverty Reduction: Changing role of research development and training institution. Eds. In Sim, Appanah and Hooda. Australia: RAP Publication. FAO, 2005. Web. Retrieved from http://www.fao.org/docrep/008/af349e/af349e0n.htm#bm23. 6 October 2012. United States Environemental Protection Agency. What is an Open/Green Space? Urban Environmental Problem in England. EPA, 20 April 2012. Web. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/region1/eco/uep/openspace.html. 4 October 2012.

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