How to Create Ethical Outdoor Spaces

Communal spaces are a hallmark of a strong community, offering a meeting place for locals and information to visitors about the kind of area they are visiting. Africans value community deeply, but are the most likely to be affected by climate change. This means that outdoor spaces need to be designed in a way which doesn’t damage the environment and is welcoming to everybody. Getting these two things right can help build a truly eco-friendly garden which is ethical and serves the needs of the community.

Using Clean Energy

The single biggest step we can take to creating clean areas is to cease the burning of fossil fuels. This is the only way to stop pumping harmful chemicals into the atmosphere, which contributes to climate change. Outdoor spaces should be areas where visitors can breathe clean air, so there should be no fossil fuels. This will give the message to visitors that this is a clean area, where it is safe to spend time.

Globally, solar panel prices are dropping at an exponential rate. Even for less developed regions, they are an affordable energy source. With the abundance of sun in Africa, this has to be the preferred option. Depending on the area, hydroelectric or wind energy could also be utilised to provide energy that does no harm to the environment.

Respecting Natural Habitats

When building spaces for human visitors, we should be mindful that other creatures are not being harmed. The African savanna is perhaps the most endangered place on Earth. The natural habitats on this continent must be protected above all else. Fortunately, there ways for humans to build communal spaces which do not interfere with the environment of our co-inhabitants.

We should not build on land which is already being used by animals. Instead, it is important to look for spaces which are unused. For instance, redeveloping an abandoned building. Rather than building on green space, we can transform urban areas into beautiful and ethical communal areas. This can be enjoyed by the community, without bringing any harm to animals.

True Accessibility

One of the most important aspects of communal spaces is that they should be welcoming to all. This means building accessible outdoor spaces. With a certain proportion of any community living with impaired mobility, all new spaces should be built to be wheelchair accessible. They should also be safe for persons with visual or hearing impairments, as well as welcoming to anyone with a mental health condition. Beyond looking after the planet and natural environments, we need to ensure that humans of any background can use a communal outdoor space.

When it comes to designing an urban area for relaxation, leisure or work, moral considerations need to be discussed. Will the space cause any harm to the planet? If so, then changes need to be made to introduce renewable energy sources and lower pollution. Secondly, it should be designed to leave already vulnerable species in peace. Finally, it needs to be welcoming and accommodating to the needs of all residents, so that everyone has equal participation in the community.