A new urban planning software has been introduced by the researches in Stanford University. It is an open source software which helps urban planners and policy makers in building more sustainable cities.
The new urban planning software helps planners to visualize and map the health of human and environmental benefits as described in the journal Urban Sustainability.
Co-author Anne Guerry, lead scientist with the Natural Capital Project at Stanford said, “This software helps design cities that are better for both people and nature. Urban nature is a multitasking benefactor. The trees on your street can lower temperatures so your apartment is cooler on hot summer days.”
Guerry continued, “At the same time, they’re soaking up the carbon emissions that cause climate change. It is by creating a free, accessible place to stay healthy through physical activity by making your city a more pleasant place.”
Cities are growing as more and more of the world’s population migrates to metropolitan areas.
As cities expand to accommodate immigrants, policymakers and urban planners must fight to safeguard local ecosystems. And guarantee that city residents have access to green space’s benefits.
Parks and community gardens can provide inhabitants with both physical and mental health benefits. The benefits such as stress relief, exercise opportunities, and access to good food.
Additional green spaces can help cities from flooding and grasslands can improve pollination services.
The lead study author Perrine Hamel, head of the Livable Cities Program at the Natural Capital Project said, “We’re answering three crucial questions with this software. They are: where in a city is nature providing what benefits to people, how much of each benefit is it providing and who is receiving those benefits?”
The software uses data from NASA satellites, local weather stations, and census records to uncover links between environmental factors. The environmental factors can be temperature trends and social demographics and economic data like income levels.
The new software that is used to measure the benefits of nature on cities is known as Urban InVEST.
According to the study, parks, grassland, and woodland in Shenzhen, China, might prevent up to $25 billion in damages in the event of a 100-year flood by soaking up rainwater and redirecting floodwater.
The software models revealed that the green spaces in the Chinese metropolis aid to reduce the average high temperature by up to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer months. Scientists believe that the new software will give policy makers a good understanding about environmental inequities. The software is available for free. According to several research, the advantages of urban green spaces are not distributed evenly.
Efforts to strengthen and democratize green spaces in cities may benefit everyone, including rural dwellers.
According to the researchers, parks, grasslands, and woods can help lower a city’s carbon footprint. And also to help to in the attempt to prevent climate change as well as alleviate its harmful impacts.
Guerry said, “Cities, more than any other ecosystem, are the result of human design. Why not give greater care to how we build the locations where we spend the majority of our time?”
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