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Urban greening

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Greening-up our towns and cities

Greening-up our towns and cities

Take a look down any leafy street and it's easy to see why gardens make our towns and cities so appealing. Yet, at the RHS, we know that gardens in these urban areas are not just valuable for their looks - they offer a wide range of other benefits, from providing homes for wildlife to preventing flooding.

For helpful information and handy tips on what an urban gardener can do to improve the immediate landscape read the Urban Gardening review summary, (1,016kB pdf).

To show exactly what the benefits are, our scientists are conducting a unique review of all the available research. The aim is to produce a definitive paper on why gardening in the urban environment is such a good thing, and how to manage your gardens so that the contribution outweighs any potential negative impacts.

We hope this will help and inspire all gardeners, irrespective of their location, to reap the rewards.

What is urban greening?

Urban greening simply means growing plants wherever possible in towns and cities.

Each individual may only have a small garden but, together, the amount of greenspace we look after really adds up – it’s about 25% of the land in most cities. And, as more than 80% of the UK population live in a town or cities, we really can make a difference by ensuring that every available space in our front and back garden contains planting.

Why urban greening is important for all of us

Urban Greening Survey Results Revealed

In a survey carried out on the RHS website more than two thirds of those responding said they used their garden to watch wildlife. However, only 9 per cent realised that plants help to reduce urban temperatures.

This information, along with the other information gathered, 'is a useful snap-shot of what is happening environmentally in the garden,' says Leigh Hunt, RHS Principle Horticultural Advisor. 'But we now need to do more work.'

Read the whole article

Green gardening tips

<a href="/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Urban-greening/How-to-improve-your-garden" title="Green gardening tips">Green gardening tips</a>

Planting a climber or wall shrub is just one easy way you can make your front or back garden even greener.

Community projects

<a href="/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Urban-greening/Community-projects" title="Community projects">Community projects</a>

Even if you don’t have a garden, why not help your local community group improve areas with little or no planting.

Green front gardens

<a href="/Gardening/Sustainable-gardening/Urban-greening/How-to-improve-your-garden" title="Green front gardens">Green front gardens</a>

Come home to something nicer than wall-to-wall paving. With a little creative thinking, it's possible to park and garden.

Fascinating facts

  1. About 25% of the land in towns and cities is gardens

  2. In some cities, more than 80% of the trees are in gardens

  3. Gardens can be home to over 250 species of wildlife

  4. Plants can cool the air in summer and can keep homes warm in winter

  5. You need planning permission* to pave over your front garden if you don’t use permeable materials.

  6. A 10% increase in vegetation would help control the rise in summertime temperatures due to climate change

*for driveways over 5 sq m

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Urban Greening Science Review launched

Discover the four key benefits that gardens provide in our towns and cities. See the results by downloading the recently-launched review of the scientific evidence, (1,016kB pdf) which was led by an RHS Scientist. For everyone involved in creating and maintaining urban gardens, this RHS Science Review offers a suite of initial recommendations for action.