Ecological Urbanism – UPSC GS1

What is ecological urbanism?
Ecological urbanism is an approach to urban planning which puts nature at the centre of the design process in order to create better places and provide solutions to the multiple social, economic and environmental challenges facing the 21st Century city.
How is urban ecology linked to a city’s sustainability?
Many of the problems associated with increased temperatures and extreme weather events now are the result of not following an ecological approach. By using concepts like ecological urbanism, we can hopefully address problems cities are facing today.
Link between nature and the urban ecology
  • Multiple studies show green spaces are essential for our physical and emotional well-being.
  • In the pandemic, we’ve all felt how important it is to go for walks, smell the flowers, breathe fresh air and listen to birds. This is why it is so important to integrate more open spaces in our cities.
Global examples
  • Brazil’s Rocinha in Rio de Janeiro, the largest favela or slum in Brazil. Landscape architecture is a good example. For them, this meant gardens for the elite. So, they engage in small ecological micro-interventions, like taking care of a lemon tree.
  • Sacred groves in Nigeria, West Africa, especially the Osun Sacred Grove in Osogbo, one of the last left in Yorubaland. Formerly, every settlement there had a sacred grove but most were lost to urban development. Sacred groves support wildlife and human communities and are home to orishas, deities or energies of nature in West African traditional religion. Today, the Osun Sacred Grove is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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