Over recent years, the earth’s average temperature has increased, resulting in sea levels rising and wildfires spreading globally. Both of which have had a major impact on our eco systems, animal habitats, and people’s livelihoods and communities. Although this may not have affected you personally, in years to come we could see freshwater shortages, increased flooding, storms and heatwaves, and issues growing produce. As a result, we need to focus on climate change now more than ever.
As landscape architects, we strive to produce beautifully designed landscapes, helping to improve wellbeing and the interaction between people and the outdoors. We are also aware of the increased importance to focus on climate change in all aspects of design. Below we highlight several ways in which we can help to reduce the increase in climate, through both design and maintenance within schemes.
Plant More Trees
As simple as this sounds, planting more trees will help to reduce CO² in the air. Trees also help to regulate the movement of water through the ecosystems, reducing the likelihood of flooding. However, it is important that the right type of trees are planted – this is where we come in. For example, conifers absorb heat, while some species help to capture particles within the air, such as silver birch and London plane.
Wildflowers Are Better Than Grass
Planting wildflower areas can help reduce pollution, cleaning the air we breathe and can ultimately reduce the increase in climate. Wildflowers are also much more attractive than grass and will improve the aesthetic of any scheme.
Grow Your Own Food
Incorporating allotments into a scheme will help with both social and environmental aspects. Not only is growing your own produce more sustainable, but this can also have multiple benefits to slowing climate change, including regulating both surface and groundwater flow and providing food for wildlife.
Overgrown is Good
Leaving areas of wildflower or tussocky grassland to become overgrown can provide habitat for wildlife and have a huge boost on our ecosystems.
Flooding is increasingly becoming one of Britain’s most pressing concern when it comes to climate change. Every year we are seeing homes and businesses destroyed because we have not adapted to the increased rainfall, and it is only going to get worse due to the demand for housing. Incorporating Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) into every scheme can greatly reduce the chances of flooding, now and in the future. The systems can also provide attractive landscapes and increase habitat creation.
Lastly, the most important thing we can do is read more about climate change and understand how this is affecting people. The more we understand, the more we can do to adapt.