Green agro areas on roof reduce urban heat island . Organic food from home reduce the harmful effects of chemicals and thereby the health .
In developing nations absence of open space discourages urban areas from entering into Organic farming . The concrete jungles raise the temperature and affect the microclimate , in short lead to urban heat island formation.Urban agriculture provides one direct benefit and one indirect one :
- Improvement of micro climate and reduction of urban heat island effect.
- Helps in reducing the deterioration of health of the inhabitants who consume the vegetables containing pesticides and carbon contents , available in the markets.
Major steps to be taken
- Instead of turf , lawns etc to prove the building is green , the area can be creatively improved by planting native species which consume less water compared to exotic ones
- Vegetables and fruits can be harvested on varying scales depending upon the terrace area available.
- The household organic waste can help as fertilizers for the plants.
More green areas can do only good for improving the climatic conditions of the urban areas. Green areas will prove to be visually pleasing, reduce glare , reduce temperature and cut off the exposure of heat absorbing concrete from exposure to sun. If this green areas prove beneficial for the economy and health of the people , the outcome will prove to be tremendous. The balance between 2 different aspects , urban local climate and food security is improved here.
Category of the action
What actions do you propose?
“Giving some alarming information, Indian Institute of Horticulture Research (IIHR) scientist Dr. M. Prabhakar says that vegetables grown in the peri-urban area around Bangalore contain higher chemical residues than what is accepted at the international level. Presence of sewage and heavy metal effluents in water used for irrigation purposes and chemical pesticides render the yield unfit for human consumption.”
(sited fromwww.cityfarmer.infoon 2:58pm , 7/10/2014)
The major actions to be taken:
Awareness to be created among the people by involving self help groups, NGOs , residents associations etc that act as authoritative figure to coordinate any action.
Community funds can be generated to buy the seeds and necessary equipment for installation.
Experts from the concerned department from the Government can come over to these groups and conduct classes on how to approach organic terrace farming in urban areas and as an initial step free seedlings can be distributed.
Bacteria composting will help in generating fertilizers for the plants. Hence compost pits for organic waste should be made mandatory as it would reduce the load of organic waste treatment by the authorities and prove beneficial for the farming.
This can prove to a major source of income for the women and children and would play a major role in their empowerment in developing nations.
When done in a community scale the vegetables can be sold in the market as organic food.
The vegetated areas also act as a visual as well noise buffer for the people living in the building.
Who will take these actions?
The Key actors are the individuals alone . The interest taken by the families as a unit to for a greater cause like improving the urban climate and ensuring food security is the deciding factor of success of the idea.
On a much larger level community participation like residents associations, gated communities can make common themes and ideas.
NGOs, Self Help Groups can be a source of encouragement .
The government must see the wider scope and encourage by providing incentives and subsidies accordingly for equipment
Where will these actions be taken?
The action is possible in any part of the world having urban areas that is affected by climatic disorders . But here the focus in on developing nations like India affected by lack of space in the urban areas and which sell chemically treated vegetables to the consumers.
The urban areas in developing nations like India are well known for the clutter , dust and traffic blocks created by multiple modes of transport, lack of land available for a green initiative or even public open spaces.
The green areas in the building will act as buffer, improve the environment conditions in the house by improving air quality, reducing temperature , better health and cool the minds and provide a sense of peace and happiness.
What are other key benefits?
What are the proposal’s costs?
The cost varies depending upon the vegetable you decide to grow. Initial installation cost which can be broken down into
Installation of pots and fertile soil
Watering of the plants
Compost pits for fertilizers / or using the kitchen waste
All these activities does not cost much depend upon how much of the terrace area you need to utilize for this purpose.
1 month for installation and planting.
1 year for full functioning in each house.
In 5-15 years - the project will be full functioning in an entire community
In 15-50 years the idea can spread wings and be applied over each of the states by its inclusion in the national five year plans etc
By 50 to 100 years the idea needs to adopted all over the world to develop a green approach to climate change.