Bangalore’s slums are a source of rich biodiversity | urban News Digest

According to a recently published paper in the Journal Sustainability issue, written by researchers from Technical University of Berlin and Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment, researchers have discovered a variety of plants in a study of 44 Bangalore slums. These plants are grown by residents in discarded paint cans, plastic bags, buckets, and old kitchen utensils.

Most common use of shrubs, herbs and creepers were for medicinal and nutrition needs including Moringa oleifera or drumstick trees, coconut, neem, holy basil, aloe vera and ornamental money plants such as rose and jasmine. “Slums may not have the kind of biodiversity that other residential pockets in Bangalore do, but they certainly have a larger concentration of indigenous plants,” explained Lead Author Divya Gopal, a researcher at Technical University of Berlin.

Green spaces in the city help to improve health and overall well-being of urban areas and particularly for the given socioeconomic conditions in slums. The researchers have advocated the inclusion of preservation of green spaces on government agenda for this reason. Efforts to enhance urban ecology have been widely promoted by policymakers, NGOs and government agencies.

 

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