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Why Urban Gardening?

Columns 2024-05-16, 12:09am

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SK. Nur-E-Alam



Sk. Md. Nur-E-Alam

Now-a-days we frequently heard people talking about ‘Climate change’ and ‘global warming’. People living particularly in urban areas are experiencing the consequences of these two factors. As reported in a national daily, April/24 was the hottest month in last 30 years in Bangladesh. Everyone is suffering from heat wave and mostly the working people are the worst suffers from the impact of climate change and global warming. The ground level worker’s productivity is significantly decreased with reduced economic outcome.

According to a statistics, over $6 billion, or 8% of Dhaka's GDP, is lost annually due to heat waves and approximately 66 thousand crore taka, based on the current market rate of 110 taka per US dollar. The continuous urban growth and urbanization is turning the cities as urban heat island. Meanwhile the impacts of urban heat island can be reduced by green infrastructure. Urban gardening is one of the popular components of green infrastructure.

There are different forms of urban gardening, for instance, Roof top gardening, Roof top gardening is popular where space is not as available compared to the population. Hence, urban gardening helps to cool down the heat and in keeping the temperature of cities under control.

Urban gardening provides a lot of benefits to the citizens. It has aesthetic, cultural, social, recreational and psychological values. Urban gardening not only provides food for the gardeners but also give the liberty to grow at own choices. A Gardener can grow his own organic tomato if he/she wishes. The extra benefit is that, garden reduces carbon mileage if we consider this collectively. Urban gardeners have the scope to growing ornamental plants for ameliorating one’s spiritual satisfaction.

They can also grow medicinal plants like Tulsi, Neem, Curcuma, Mint etc. for his own consumption which gives him extra income and economic savings as well. The city dwellers remain busy most of the time. They enjoy only a limited time to spend with nearest ones and neighbors. Urban gardening may provide space for the people to meet together and have some fun. Different games and party can be organized in the garden premise which strengthens the social bonding. Children and teenagers of this generation are not familiar to the names of different plants and do not know how to grow. Urban gardening can be a learning place for the younger generation.

Recycling of organic waste can be used as viable source of fertilizer for urban gardening. It also save money spent for buying chemical fertilizer and promotes organic farming. City people don’t have time to do regular exercises. Urban gardening also promotes physical activity. Retired person can utilize their leisure time by doing gardening. It provides them mental relief and satisfaction. All the family members can participate in gardening. Family values can be sharpened by this innovation. Urban gardening can give the space for all classes of people for participation.

Normally we do not see the biodiversity in the city area. Gardening invites pollinator like bumblebee, humblebee for natural pollination. Gardening can be inside or outside. Different types of indoor plants are available in the nursery; these refreshes air and contain dust pollution. Individual initiative to do gardening can make a great impact on protecting environment and the over all atmosphere. So, gardening is essential for maintaining the urban ecosystem.

(Sk. Md. Nur-E-Alam is Assistant Professor, Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka who is now on deputation doing PhD at University of Lodz, Poland)