Persistently high temperatures and related heat stress are a big problem for people living in cities, especially in slums and informal settlements. It’s a problem that is expected to continue, writes Olumuyiwa Adegun for The Conversation.
Heat exposure in Africa is projected to increase, along with a shortage of basic services and infrastructure, low-quality housing, poor socio-economic conditions and few green spaces in slums and informal settlements.
Green spaces have the potential to reduce heat and, in turn, improve health, especially in vulnerable urban areas such as informal settlements.
Vertical greening can be scaled up. Parks and other green open spaces are usually created in formal and affluent neighbourhoods. While this is good, it must be complemented by policy initiatives and programmes that promote citizen-led, community-based vertical farming in dense informal settlements.
These vertical gardens provided healthy vegetables for the residents to eat. From a typical prototype in Nigeria, up to 1kg of vegetables were harvested in a six-week cycle.
vertical garden (file photo).