Preserve urban greenery in African Cities

According to a recent paper published in the Urban Forum Journal, ‘African Urbanism: the Geography of Urban Greenery,’ many African Cities have “less than 10% of their total land area occupied by urban greenery (p:8)”.

The latter is broadly defined as “green spaces, vegetation, open spaces, urban forests, parks and playgrounds” (p:2). The study’s authors believe that this depletion is due to a clear marginalisation and “forgotten syndrome”(p:15) of urban greenery in African Cities.

Indeed, despite being a global change, the decline in urban greenery is particularly prevalent in African cities, where rapid urbanization does not appear to be balanced with the provision and management of greenery.

Yet, paradoxically, the functions and benefits of urban greenery have never been as known and reported as today. These include for instance ecological benefits, community connectedness, and even mental and physical health (see ‘Green spaces in cities good for mental health‘).

The authors therefore stand for an urban resilience approach that would be multifunctional and goes beyond the mere activity of “tree planting”(p:10), thanks to piecemeal adaptive interventions on the city fabric.

The urban resilience model, they say, also recognises urban landscapes as interconnected and therefore makes us consider urban greenery as a central component of the urban environment.

Article available from Urban Forum [sub required].


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Urban Forum
Year 2016
Author(s) Patrick Brandful Cobbinah and Rhoda Mensah Darkwah
DOI 10.1007/s12132-016-9274-z
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