Why Go Green ? Is it an Option ?
The future of the world is decidedly urban -- the World Economic Forum estimates that since 1950, the urban population globally has grown six-fold, from 751 million to 6.2 billion in 2023. This will only rise with rural populations plateauing while over six billion people are projected to live in cities worldwide by 2050. Nigeria, China and India alone will account for 35% of this growth, with the United Nations estimating the highest urban growth figures to be in India.
Such urbanism presents both opportunities and challenges. On the one hand, cities offer individuals life-changing skills and livelihoods - thus, cities are known as places of aspirations and dreams. But, alongside, cities are now driving over 75% of global CO2 emissions. With an unsustainable use of fossil fuels for transport, industry and buildings, with deforestation, concretization and pollution, cities are causing intense global warming. The effects are being felt by cities themselves through the phenomenon of urban warming, metropolitan areas growing ten degrees Celsius hotter than surrounding rural regions, urban heat pushing up the demand for cooling, causing more emissions, thus entering a vicious warming cycle.
Urban ecology is the solution. As global experts emphasise, nature in the city cools down temperatures, purifies polluted air and shores up water reserves. From wooded groves to city lakes, mangroves to neighbourhood parks, green roofs to urban wildlife corridors, each intervention helps preserve environmental stability, climate resilience and biodiversity. Urban ecology also offers more - as we touch the barks of trees, smell the fragrance of flowers and leaves, watch the struggles, the determination, the loves and comedies of birds and animals living in the city, we realise we are not alone. We are very much part of nature's species and its wonderful mysteries. We need not live alienated lives amidst metal, plastic and concrete. In truth, we humans are part of a vast panoply of life, of stars and sky and murmuring breeze, where every being has its own story. Join Naturally Green on a vibrant journey of urban ecology, where many citizens meet and where the city gifts us empathy.