In the future, cities will be much larger and more populous, and green areas will have to follow new models that are innovative and sustainable. Starting from the lawns.
According to an UN estimation, and many studies on urban transformations confirm this, by 2050, 75% of the world's population will live in a big city.
An out of control urbanization that generates so many "non-cities" that need to settled now: the distinction between downtown and peripheral areas is in fact overcome; large-scale provinces are slowly overwhelmed by metropolitan and new cities Urban green patterns are needed to respond to emerging urban configurations.
NO PARK WITHOUT PRESENTATION
Fortunately "antibodies" are already circulating. Just soil consumption and anthropic pressure have determined the primary need to improve the quality of life in the urban sphere. There are also numerous examples and initiatives in favor of improving and spreading green and trees: tree censuses, spatial planning, planned maintenance management, compensation and green mitigation, city parks, vertical forests and so on. If this is a positive signal, we cannot yet say the same about the lawns, a common good not valued and still underestimated.
Yet, it should not be difficult to understand the impact that lawns have on people's lives: they represent outdoor space par excellence, where children and teenagers play more willingly and where adults are dedicated to sociality. In a word they are irreplaceable. Do you imagine similar surfaces for plastic recreation? Horror.
But even the urban lawn of tomorrow to be sustainable will have to respond to the picture becoming, looking for new guidelines and good practices to follow. For years the lawn has limited itself to "if you want a nice lawn, add more sand to the ground". Then there was the era of fertilizers and pesticides, to be added in industrial quantities. Today, the rediscovery of green consciousness has led us to reflect on the fact that the formula "+ sand + water + pesticides + nutrition + machinery + cures" has created an insane spiral that simply does not work. What is the sense of an aesthetically perfect lawn if it pollutes if it induces water waste and is it a continuous source of costs and problems?
SPRING FROM SEMES
So innovations on management methods - and Ambrogio Robot are right in this category - are improving the quality of grass mats without placing ethical and economic issues, but which are good practices. Among other things, the Zucchetti Centro Sistemi robots, thanks to a constant cut, improve the density of seedlings, which first and foremost, day by day, and considerably reduces the use of fertilizers through the reuse of mulching cutbacks.
But before that, you have to change your approach. Signs tell us that the selection criteria for a turf should not be merely aesthetic (thin leaf, dark color, etc.) but they will have to answer real needs: low maintenance, sustainability, water and energy efficiency, quality and stability . And in that sense the choice of seedlings must become the starting point. Today the meadows are based on 4 or 5 species at most (the main ones: Festuca arundinacea, Poa pratensis, perennial Lolium) in front of a family, Poaceae, which includes thousands for immense but still enveloped genetic potential.
For this reason, the selection of increasingly resistant and water-efficient species characterized by low growth and good competition against weeds will have to become the primary objective of research over the next few years. Think, to make an example of water efficiency, the difference between a planter with a 5 cm surface radical and one that can penetrate the ground up to 50 cm. It's on topics like this that the game is played.
Landscape designer and lover of new technologies. I divide myself between the world of magazines and the design of the gardens in all its forms, which I create together with the Lefty Gardens studio of which I am co-founder.
Altri articoli di Davide Cerruto