In the city and the buidings we usually find these main problems:
CO2 excessive emissions to the atmosphere
Buildings are in part responsible for the excessive CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, the main cause being electricity consumption in air conditioning systems. This contributes to the global warming and seriously affects to the environment.
Urban Heat Island effect (UHI)
The urban development causes a modification of the land surface using a high concentration of materials which effectively retain heat. Tall buildings provide multiple surfaces for the reflection and absorption of sunlight, enhancing the efficiency with which urban areas are warmed up. This combined with heat waste generated by energy usage leads to an increase of the temperature in the city known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.
Low energy efficiency in buildings
Most of the buildings are not energy efficient; they do not save energy nor use it rationally. Therefore, energy consumption is much higher than the necessary daily requirement.
Humidity decrease due to air conditioning
Conventional Air conditioning installations reduce humidity indoors and cause breathing affections.
Sick Building Syndrome (SBS)
Urban areas are known to be major concentrators and emitters of multiple contaminants due to human activities and the characteristics of the built environment which have various negative impacts. As a result, carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are increasing as well as other harmful toxins such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) some of which are known carcinogens and have been associated with Sick Building Syndrome. This effect along with other biological, environmentalt(including high temperature, low humidity and noise) and psychological (including stress and anxiety) problems results in a poor indoor environment that can impinge negatively on work efficiency and increases office absenteeism.
Loss of Biodiversity in urban areas
Scarceness of green areas in urban areas causes a significant loss of Biodiversity in cities, modifying natural regulatory networks of energy and matter flows. These common problems in modern cities affect to the albedo, evapotranspiration and the carbon cycle, due to the modification of landscapes and can even cause changes in the microclimate conditions.
Deprived urban spaces
Abandoned buildings and deprived spaces are common in certain areas of our cities. This affects the quality of the urban environment and the use of public places.
Terapia Urbana uses Urban Greening Approaches as a tool to integrate Nature in our cities, solving these energy and environmental problems.