Greening cities doesn't just make them pretty
Madrid is investing millions in green roofs, street trees and community gardens to make the city more livable.
In this case, livable isn't just better looking and more enjoyable. Plants reduce the urban heat island effect--pilot projects in Madrid found green roofs reduced temperatures by more than 4 degrees!
Vegetation also mitigates noise pollution, absorbs stormwater during deluges thereby protecting infrastructure, and filters the air removing pollution from vehicles and buildings.
Next time you walk through a dense urban environment, remember the critical role these low-tech assets play in making 21st century cities more sustainable, livable, and esthetically attractive!