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Understanding the importance of green open spaces in urban living

With the increase in urban population across cities, green open spaces have started dwindling rapidly. Metro cities such as Mumbai are especially affected as they grow rapidly and there is a huge influx of people every year, leading to more space being taken up by housing and other civic infrastructure.

Open spaces in an urban environment are a crucial part of daily living as they are linked to overall health aspects in addition to positive environmental and social benefits. Rapid growth of towns and cities leading to little or no open spaces available to the public, is a major problem around the world.

Open spaces can be of different types. Spaces such as public parks and gardens provided by civic bodies, private spaces with access to public or open spaces inside residential complexes and townships. While public parks, grounds, and gardens are a part of the civic plans, they are not always conveniently located for people from all locations and all walks of life. How much these spaces benefit people also depends on how safe and secure people feel in these public spaces. The current pandemic has highlighted the importance of open spaces even more.

Open spaces are meaningful only if they offer a safe and secure environment where the people can relax, engage in activities such as sports or socialize. This is where open spaces inside residential complexes and townships takes on a crucial role. Unfortunately, in metro cities, most residential premises do not offer this facility. Children have to make do with playing on the roads outside or in narrow driveways of the high-rise buildings, which is neither adequate nor safe. Senior citizens and others too do not have open outdoor space to walk, jog, run or just socialize safely.

However, branded real estate developers such as Runwal Group have realised this issue and have made a deliberate and conscious effort to include green open spaces in most of their projects in Mumbai as a part of the concept design itself. At Runwal Greens in Mulund, a cricket ground, large open spaces on the podium level and play areas and gardens have ensured residents can enjoy the luxury of space, both inside and outside. Similarly, at Runwal Forests in Kanjurmarg West, large landscaped green spaces including a cricket ground is an effort to provide residents with spaces for recreation, sports and socializing. All this has a huge impact on the overall health quotient and quality of life amidst the frenzy of fast paced urban life. Runwal Bliss and Runwal Avenue in Kanjurmarg East also have huge central greens, gardens, open spaces and clubhouses to offer residents a holistic lifestyle and not just another block in the concrete jungle. A 5 acre public garden between Runwal Bliss and Runwal Avenue is a part of the development plan, which will further enhance the green quotient, offering something similar to Central Park of New York. Runwal Gardens, the Group’s iconic 115 acre township at Dombivli in the MMR region has taken the open spaces concept many notches higher. It offers 14+ gardens and a cricket ground in addition to many pockets of green open vistas.

The idea is to create spaces that are productive and beneficial while being accessible to people. Spaces need to establish a connection with the users. Green open spaces and natural surroundings within residential complexes are the way forward in cities like Mumbai. Such developments will also command a premium owing to the fact that these open spaces are linked to avenues for health and well-being, something that is a rare luxury in our urban centres these days.

Image credit: Freepik

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