Many cities struggling with increasingly hot temperatures are trying to find ways to cool the city. Adding greenspace is being recognized as a multi-benefit way to do this, as it also reduces stormwater runoff and improves the quality of stormwater, while providing habitat and social spaces for humans. The problem is that the areas that need greenspace the most- often densely-built downtowns- are often the areas that have the least amount of available space in which to add greenery.
Barcelona is tackling this issue in a particularly creative way- by redistributing traffic to tunnels, replacing some low-density courtyards with parks (though not uncontroversially), aggressively encouraging green roofs and walls, and linking green corridors to existing parks. This approach to urban greening, in which cities are having to add greenspace to previously unused or underused urban areas, is a great example of the trend around urban greening and the approach taken in my upcoming book with Routledge (out in 2018). For more information click here