Enviornment Prelims cum Mains

Why vertical gardens is such a ‘cool’ idea for Delhi

Details :

The news:

  • An innovative idea to green the capital in an efficient manner, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC), begins trial of vertical garden but these are now almost a trend.

 

New summary:

Pollution status of Delhi:

  • According to the Union environment ministry, Delhi generates 131 tonnes of dust every day, making airborne dust one of the largest components of PM 2.5 (microscopic, respirable particles) in the capital.
  • A study released by the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory in 2017, revealed that Delhi sees a temperature variation of 5-10 degrees Celsius between the coolest and hottest parts of the city due to urban heat island (UHI).
    • Locations in central Delhi exhibit the highest UHI with the range being 4 degrees to 4.3 degrees Celsius. A bit afield log average UHI between 3.5 and 4 degrees Celsius.

 

Vertical garden:

  • The vertical gardens are needed to make a dent into detrimental effect caused by pollution.
  • As an innovative idea to green the capital in an efficient manner, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) begins trial of vertical garden which becomes almost a trend.
  • After Delhi Metro pillars, the Municipal Corporations are planning to install vertical gardens on flyovers also.

 

Benefits:

  • As Delhi is becoming more and more concretised, vertical gardens serve the dual purpose of improving air quality by trapping dust and pollutants and absorbing heat from the surroundings to provide a cooling effect.
    • So this “innovation” will not only help control air pollution on some major roads in south Delhi, but also control the urban heat island (UHI) effect.
    • Experts claimed that walls on which vertical gardens are erected show a drop of 1-2 degrees, proving the measure is an effective way of combating temperature.
  • These garden also acts as natural dumper to reduce noise pollution.

 

Challenges:

  • Tree vs vertical garden: Some experts however, cautioned that vertical gardens alone weren’t enough and they need to go hand-in-hand with tree cover to provide wide-area temperature regulation.
    • Though vertical gardens do absorb pollutants and volatile organic compounds (VOC), but it would need trees in the vicinity to see a change in temperatures.
    • Vertical gardens can only be effective if they comprise broad-leafed species that are not succulent in nature.
  • Internal vs external temperature: While it is easier to reduce the temperature of a building internally, you require large-scale implementation of such gardens across the capital to regulate external temperatures.

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