A Marymount High School student publication

The Anchor

A Marymount High School student publication

The Anchor

A Marymount High School student publication

The Anchor

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Reimagining Urban Spaces: How Green Architecture Can Combat Climate Change

Parkroyal+Collection%2C+an+eco-friendhip+garden+concept+hotel%2C+in+Pickering%2C+Singapore.+%28Photo+courtesy+of+ArchDaily%29
Parkroyal Collection, an eco-friendhip garden concept hotel, in Pickering, Singapore. (Photo courtesy of ArchDaily)

In recent times, the urgency to take more intentional action for climate change has intensified, especially in light of the news regarding how 2023 was one of the worst years in terms of global climate. To address this pressing issue, we must immediately reconsider our approach to urban development. As our world only industrializes more and cities continue to expand with the simultaneous growth of our populations, the impact that human activity has on the environment becomes more pronounced. 

We need to take a more thoughtful and conscientious approach to urban development, and green architecture emerges as a practical solution to improve our environment.  Green architecture enables us to integrate sustainable design practices into urban spaces, which not only combats climate change directly but also guarantees healthier and more livable environments for generations to come. 

Bosco Verticale in Milan, Italy translates to Vertical Forest. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images)

Green architecture would introduce several environmentally friendly practices for our world. Green architecture involves integrating greenery and vegetation, as well as other sustainable materials into building structures. This includes having plants, trees, and green spaces within and around buildings through features like rooftop gardens and living walls (also known as vertical gardens). These would help reduce heat absorption, improve air quality, and even provide habitats for wildlife in urban areas. With the use of other materials, which can include a variety of recycled or renewable resources, buildings can leave a smaller environmental footprint. Incorporating technologies like energy-efficient windows, insulation, and shading devices further enhances energy efficiency and reduces resource consumption.

Additionally, green architecture also fosters a generally more enjoyable living experience for urban residents. Buildings designed with such materials and techniques would also promote indoor air quality, reduce noise pollution, and prioritize occupant comfort and well-being. Furthermore, access to natural light, greenery, and open spaces has been linked to improved mental health, productivity, and overall quality of life, emphasizing the holistic benefits of green design in urban settings.

The Salt Lake City Library boasts high indoor environmental quality through its ventilation technologies and natural lighting, as well as temperature control through its double-glazed walls. (Photo courtesy of Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Green architecture can present a tangible solution for us through resilient, resource-efficient, and vibrant urban spaces that contribute to a healthier planet for all. Given the current environmental challenges, we must reimagine our cities as sustainable ecosystems where people, nature, and architecture can coexist harmoniously for a more sustainable future.