If we look at Pune’s real estate landscape, it is quite evident that the city has taken a hit in terms of its previously legendary green cover. His is of course unavoidable in the urban areas, which must accommodate the constantly growing population in the city. This is the price we must pay for growth, which is ultimately good for the economy. However, there’s no escaping the fact that there is a deep link between green environment and the quality of living that a city’s residents enjoy.
Residential neighborhoods that are bestowed with trees, foliage, lawns and natural open outdoor spaces also have healthier and happier people. This is by no means just a romantic concept. The existence of green spaces actually contributes to air quality, as trees and other greenery absorb toxic pollutants like sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen, ammonia, nitric acid vapor and ozone – and give back life-giving oxygen. Greenery and green open spaces also play a major role in controlling urban temperatures.
Just a decade ago, Pune was known for its abundance of green cover, which generously embraced almost all of its residential areas. Today, a lot of this green cover has gone under the development hammer with the unconstrained proliferation of real estate and massive industrialization. This, coupled with road development and the unbelievable increase in traffic movement within the city, has given rise to serious health issues now cropping up into once healthy neighborhoods.
As a result, today Pune’s citizens are far more prone to suffering from ailments like high blood pressure, bronchitis, asthma, depression and overall stress. A city that was once an epitome of modern natural living is now starved for oxygen and visual relief from the ever-expanding concrete jungle.
Though a green environment evidently benefits everyone, it is particularly important for the very young and elderly. Children obviously thrive most in green surroundings, and senior citizens living amidst sufficient greenery have fewer health problems and lead a considerably fitter lifestyle than those who live in an environment of unrelieved concrete inside the city. The more the availability of greenery and green open spaces in a residential neighbourhood, the likelier it is for its residents to spend time outdoors and avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Without a doubt, life in a city should not be merely about owning a beautiful home, but also about being happy and healthy. As the world continues its fight against global warming and urban areas grow, home buyers in cities like Pune are starting to prefer neighborhoods that have amenities like parks, gardens and enough natural green cover. Locations like Undri and Ambegaon, where the benefit of protected green cover is still available, score high on their preference list – not only because of their greenery but also because they are also more price-friendly than the congested inner city areas.
These are also among the most preferred locations for property investors; as Pune continues to develop rapidly, its greener areas will eventually command premium prices. After all, green cover is the pièce de résistance that gives luxury areas like Sahakarnagar, Koregaon Park and Boat Club Road their unique appeal. And for home buyers, it’s not just about giving kids the opportunity to play outside but also living in a healthy environment – and a more active and vibrant community.
Green spaces in and around residential projects have been proven to bring people outdoors to engage in healthy interactions with neighbors. Common gardens and parks are spaces where people meet and spend time together. Consequently, people who choose greener living spaces over concrete jungles enjoy better social bonding, are more concerned about the development of their community and neighborhood – and live longer and happier lives.