Ho Chi Minh City’s Park and Greenery Office reports a 50% loss of green space in the past 11 years. Blame is attributed to developers ignoring city requirements for green space. The calculation includes parks, flower gardens, and road-side plants.
There are some interesting statistics. Currently there is .7 square meters of green space per person in the 7 million person city. The city’s goal is 4 to 5 square meters per person. The World Health Organization has set a global standard of 8 square meters per person.
This story illustrates the rapid rate of urbanization in Asia, the importance of green space as a health issue, and the difficulties of balancing urban development and human health.
According to the United Nations Population Fund, in 2008 the world achieved an urbanization milestone, 3.3 billion people, more than half the world’s peoples, now lived in cities.
By 2030, 5 billion people will be city dwellers, and more than 81% will be in developing countries. From 2000 to 2030, in one generation the urban populations of Asia and Africa will double (from 1.7 to 3.4 billion).
The pace of urbanization is astonishing. From 1900 to 2000, the number of city dwellers rose from 220 million to 2.8 billion, an increase of more than 10 times. Poverty and sustainability are the two biggest challenges of our century’s global urbanization, with implications for transportation, water and energy supplies.
The role of gardeners in retrofitting mature cities and building emerging cities is vital in promoting cities where residents are connecting to each other and the environment. I hope that Tokyo Green Space can contribute ideas for global urbanization and development.
Related posts: Peter Head’s “Entering the Ecological Age”