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Plan to double urban green space
The Times of India  |  May 16, 2018


The city corporation plans to double the existing per capita urban green space under the smart city project. By developing parks and green spaces around the city lakes, the local body plans to add another 404 hectares of urban space to the city which will make the urban green space 4.3sqm per person.


Experts said most of the green space in Coimbatore is its agricultural land, which accounts for 70% of the land use. Its actual urban space and recreational space is only 403 hectares. "The agricultural land is privately owned and it can be converted into real estate or for other purposes. So, these are not considered as urban green space," said a local planning authority official.


"Under the smart city project, an urban biodiversity park at Singanallur lake, a nature centre near Ukkadam lake and a wetland centre at TNAU will be set up. We have incorporated designs around each lake such that it will provide spaces for people to sit and enjoy the lake front. Nearly 5,000 acres of land owned by TNAU will be designated as agricultural park so that it cannot be converted or get encroached," said a smart city consultant for Coimbatore corporation. The consultant added that they will plant 8,000 trees around the eight city lakes to increase the green cover that will allow 1,200 tonnes of carbon di oxide sequestration (remove it from atmosphere).


Environmentalists said the imbalance between urban buildings and natural spaces is posing a huge climate change risk. The urban heat island effect in which the temperatures in the urban areas go up due to increase in density of population and concrete structures will diminish the quality of living in cities. "Technical data and scientific awareness is required to improve green cover," said an environmentalist.


Officials said the government is also coming up with policies to promote terrace gardening, development of residential gardens and also take steps to decrease concretisation of roads, pavements and urban spaces.