As Urbanization progresses to 60% in South Africa – The Urban forest should be earmarked as in many other Countries as an effective way to mediate and reduce Socio-Economic decline – The urban forest contribution to socio-economic well-being is far more than originally thought- Research has confirmed that - depression, crime, asthma, hypertension, concentration disorders, anxiety, hyper activity disorders are significantly reduced where trees are present. We also know these disorders have serious socio-economic consequences. Patients in hospitals also recover significantly quicker if they can see or are surrounded by a beautiful environment with tees.
These little understood and researched aerosols are also found to protect trees from insect or fungal disease, and could be why farmers and gardeners use companion planting - the planting of different crops in close proximity (in gardening and agriculture) for pest control, and to increase crop productivity. Companion planting is a form of poly-culture – or diverse planting- different to mono-culture.
The urban forest has become our last point of reference and connection to the natural environment. How will we design to benefit our society? What changes do we need to make?