That’s according to new research from the University of Sheffield, which suggests financial incentives should be considered to ensure gardens are well stocked with plants, as gardens account for nearly a third of all urban areas.
Professor Ross Cameron has outlined potential incentives, such as financial rewards for house owners with more than 50% of their garden space planted, incentives to plant or maintain trees in gardens and a ban on features that damage environmental processes, such as synthetic pesticides and excessive use of artificial grass.
Professor Cameron said: “Gardens account for a third of all our urban areas and are vital spaces in terms of keeping our buildings and city environments cool in summer, absorbing rain to avoid flash flooding and providing an important refuge for wildlife.
“Gardens need to be green and full of plants to be beneficial to the local environment, and some types of garden are more beneficial than others.
“The paradox is that many gardens are not actually green and some trends in garden design can be very damaging for the urban environment. We have paved them over to house the car, or provide sterile patio space; factors that increase urban temperatures and increase flooding risk.”