Sometimes government housing projects tend to look overcrowded with an institution look and feel to them. Sometimes they degenerate over time into dirty, crime-ridden areas that nobody really wants to call home. But some approaches to public housing do work better than others and landscaping is certainly one of them. Landscaping beautifies and transforms what can be dismal places into positive, vibrant, inspiring beautiful places that inspire people to want to make their place of abode a better one.
Beauty inspires people to want to make their own homes beautiful
Landscaping makes an area more attractive and gives the impression that the area is lovingly cared for rather than neglected. Landscaping in government housing projects has the potential to transform an area from a neglected zone to a place with some vitality and hope. This transformation occurs both through the scenic and environmental improvements and also as a result of engaging residents in meaningful work. In some government housing schemes, the youth are employed and encouraged to landscape and upgrade the local housing areas providing them with jobs when they would have difficulty finding employment.
Gardening is a therapeutic, life-affirming activity. When people come together to beautify a place by planting barren areas, they develop a sense of ownership and pride that defies the stereotype of government housing as a useless wasteland area. A landscaping project that encourages community participation to gather outdoors for healthy, positive purposes and build relationships among neighbours while simultaneously creating a space where they may socially gather in future brings one word to mind, positive.
Green plants act as air filters, cleansing the air of carbon emissions and helping to restore oxygen to the atmosphere. A public housing development that includes landscaped areas and green spaces will provide better air quality than one that is paved over with concrete. It will also help to control temperature extremes, making the area cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.
Landscaping brings additional environmental benefits as well. These benefits include decreasing air pollution, saving energy and providing a habitat and nutrition for wildlife and birds. If more trees were planted in government housing projects, air pollution levels would drop. Apart from making neighbourhoods more attractive, trees absorb carbon dioxide, a common air pollutant; they use carbon dioxide for nutrition, and they release oxygen as a waste product. More trees equates to more fresh air, which is always healthier for the environment.
Feelings of well being and pride
Trees and shrubs act as more than beautiful ornaments on lawns and in gardens. They can actually lower energy bills. Planting trees and shrubs in front of windows creates shade and at the same time, allowing light into the home during the summer. In the winter, trees and shrubs reduce the amount of cold air entering the home. For impoverished families living in government housing projects, lower energy bills are an absolute godsend. When people use less energy to heat and cool their homes, the environment benefits.
Beautiful government housing landscaping projects can attract wildlife as well as human residents. Trees and flowers provide a place for birds and their young to nest, while butterflies feed off of certain plants and flowers. The earth thrives on biodiversity, and so by providing habitat and food for a wider variety of animals and insects impacts the planet positively. Moreover, it introduces the residents to the importance of preserving wildlife and the beauty around them creates a feeling of well being and pride.