3 of the world’s most spectacular urban forests – and why you need to put them on your bucket list
“Urban forest” may seem inappropriate, but the benefits of leafy living are increasingly understood, and more and more cities around the world are integrating forests into their urban planning.
Glasgow is next on the urban forest conveyor belt, as plans for Clyde’s New Climate Forest are expected to see 18 million trees planted in and around the city over the next decade, as well as in others. regions.
Every city contains a strange park, but a handful of urban areas have taken green planning to the extreme. Here are some huge urban forests to see before you die …
1. Losiny Ostrov National Park – Moscow Russia
Even when it comes to giant metropolises of 12 million people, Moscow is quite metropolitan, with sprawling skyscrapers, Europe’s busiest metro system, and a notorious traffic problem. For respite, Muscovites can turn to Losiny Ostrov National Park (literally “ Moose Island ”), a huge urban forest spanning more than 100 square kilometers – much of it within the boundaries. from the city.
Only a quarter of the park is open to the general public (some areas are restricted for sightseeing and environmental protection), but that’s enough to serve elks, moose, weasels, beavers, wild boars, foxes and muskrats, as well as 186 different species of birds. Patrolling pine forests crossing rivers and swamps, most animals are now well acclimated to the presence of humans, allowing for excellent sightings.
2. Tijuca National Park – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
A reforested national park (Rio’s natural forests were cut down in the 1700s), Tijuca is just as wild and breathtaking as anywhere in the Amazon. From the tip of the Tijuca massif, over 1000 meters above sea level, to the famous statue of Christ the Redeemer at the top of Mount Corcovado, to the canopy thickets that stretch almost to the sea, anyone who has visited Rio will will remember the jungle-covered slopes with which the city intertwines.
The park claims to be the largest urban forest in the world – although the exact measurements will depend on your definitions. Rio’s unique coastal landscapes have since been declared a World Heritage Site and Tijuca National Park is a big part of it.
3. Sanjay Gandhi National Park – Mumbai India
A huge urban forest for a truly huge city, Mumbai’s roughly 20 million people face congestion and mass pollution in one of the world’s fastest growing mega-cities, but can escape to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in the northern suburbs. Normally, the park attracts more than two million visitors a year, attracted by a diverse fauna including 274 species of birds, 170 species of butterflies and 35 species of mammals. While the spotted hyena and rhesus macaque are must-haves for some, the park’s large leopard population definitely steals the show.
If the flora really isn’t enough for you, take a look at the Kanheri Caves, a stunning collection of rooms and monuments physically carved out of massive basalt, complete with shrines, tiered dwellings, and intricately carved figurines.