This year’s Earth Day which was celebrated worldwide recently, put a strong emphasis on vegetation with its “Trees for the Earth” theme, as there has been growing concern in relation to drastic reduction of green spaces across the urban areas in the world. The state of affairs then reminds us of the importance of good landscaping. This global environmental movement aims to encourage communities and organizations to achieve a rather ambitious goals: the reforestation of 7.8 billion trees.

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Given that indoor environment may be as much or even more polluted than outdoor environment, there’s an increasing trend towards the implementation of green systems inside buildings such as putting up interior plants and green walls. Aside from showing aesthetic appeal, there are some ways to which interior vegetation might help:

  • Interior plants help cool the air inside the room and mitigate the urban heat island effect through the process of ‘evapo-transpiration’, while shades from larger interior plants may reduce the temperature in rooms.
  • Indoor air quality improvement. Particulate matter levels can be reduced by as much as 20% in some situations. This could lead to the reduction in the use of air cleaners as well as improvements in indoor air quality. Interior plants are effective at removing a range of pollutants at relatively low planting densities in real office situations.
  • Noise reduction. Plants can effectively reduce or insulate background noise, vibrations and reduce sound penetration if positioned correctly.
  • Setting up plants on display in an office space can alleviate the “sick building syndrome” and improve the well-being of occupants.

For an urban city to remain livable, it will need to be increasingly aware of the value of its natural green spaces. Trees create green spaces in communities that offer substantial benefits for current and future generations. A healthy and sustainable built environment of the city will therefore require close cooperation between various stakeholders such as urban planners, architect, landscape architect, engineers, and also the community.

An “integrated site design”, or merely known as landscape design, helps improve water and energy efficiency, reduce waste, and enhance the health as well as the safety of the inhabitants. Trees plantation can also optimize the absorption of carbon dioxide that contributes to global warming, as well as other gases that contribute to urban pollution, hence making it a pivotal feature of sustainable building.

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