This is a comparative study of Indian cities to identify existing green cover management practices in urban areas.
Cities across the globe are growing at a breakneck pace, housing more than 50% of the global population. This unprecedented growth of urban areas is a result of explosive population growth and the quality of life and job opportunities that urban centres offer, triggering mass migration from rural areas. The search for services, opportunities and lifestyle is continuously. Struggling to handle the vast number of inhabitants, cities are quickly reaching their breaking point and becoming incapable of providing basic services essential for living. The results are unprecedented events of flooding, extreme heat and water scarcity, that are threatening the social threads that bind the humans. The study identifies urban forests as a resource that can help cities develop a buffer against environmental problems and studies urban forests and green spaces across cities. Lack of trained manpower, unavailability of resources and lack of vision has resulted in the deterioration of tree cover within city limits. Constant encroachments of forest land and thefts for timber further reduces the quality of existing resources, diminishing their carrying and rejuvenation capacity.
For this study, tree and green cover management practices followed in India were identified and compared with best practices followed nationally and internationally. It looked into the administrative aspects of urban forestry in order to identify limitations motivations for management of urban green space in cities. Through a cross-comparison of green cover and urban forestry management practices across Indian cities, this study sheds light on the potential and possibilities of improving green cover in urban areas.
The study revealed the existence of a vacuum in India in regard to green cover standards and management. It provides recommendations to policy makers and city administrators to reconsider the existing green cover management approaches and shift towards more result-oriented and quantifiable green management practices.