BY THE EDITOR
The continuous flow of people from hamlets and villages to urban centers in search of better life during these last few decades has created big problems; hasty and unplanned construction of houses for example led to overcrowding and slums which resulted in unhealthy environment. Growth of manufacturing units and the increase of motor vehicles made air pollution serious health hazards. In growing and congested urban areas where the roads and streets are narrow and footpaths are being invaded by hawkers depriving pedestrians of their right to walk freely the problems have become enormous. Commuters and residents find it very difficult to go to work and come back home; students feel great anguish in reaching their schools and colleges in time.All these happen because of very great transportation hurdles due to frequent traffic jams which occur at unexpected time and lasting for hours. Solution seems impossible unless and until centres are decongested by having new satellite towns in the suburbs which must be well- planned.
The unexpected and haphazard growth of towns and cities which has caused much inconvenience to public, especially in health sector should serve as an eye-opener to leaders and planners so that preventive measures can be undertaken right from the start. However, experts and environmentalists have issued instructions and guidelines to make cities and towns greener and healthier by orchestrating a wide range of green solutions like parks, street- scraping and roof garden to not only capture carbon emissions but reduce them. Studies conducted by researchers from Sweden, the United States and China advocate greener and healthier urban centres and have recommended the most effective approaches for natural carbon sequestration in 54 cities in the European Union. Zahra Kalantari an associate professor in Water and Environmental Engineering at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden and the researchers focused on the indirect ways that so- called ‘ nature – based solutions’ can contribute to reduce carbon emission.
Nature- based solutions include urban farming, urban parks, green space and trees, permeable pavements which enable rainwater absorption into the ground, wildlife habitat preservation, and creating more opportunities for walking and bicycling. Disposal of solid wastes in towns and cities has posed great challenges to urban planners because if such wastes are not regularly cleaned then they will create health hazards to public. There is great need for urban inspectors to check regularly for controlling unsafe and unhealthy conditions like decayed building and houses,etc. Zoning laws adopted by many advanced countries are essential for better and healthier surroundings. Zoning laws provide different sectors of urban areas for such different units and separated from residential quarters at safe distance.