More parks for poor neighborhoods
Director of Erbil Parks Eng. Nazar Omar states in an interview with the Kurdish Globe that his office is planning to pay more attention to the poor neighborhoods by building more parks and increasing green area in those neighborhoods.
“We are building a park in the New Bahar Quarter this year,” stated Eng. Omar who refuted claims that poor neighborhoods are overlooked and there is discrimination between the poor and the rich neighborhoods. “Last year highest number of trees was planted in Badawa Quarter, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Erbil.”
This government official also added that in addition to the New Bahar Park, they are going to build more parks in those poor neighborhoods that do no have parks yet.
Omar told the Globe that they can only build 20 to 25 parks per year in addition to continuous renovations of existing parks and plnating trees and grass on the streets.
“We have an idea to build large parks in some areas that can connect more than one neighborhood, which can use the park.”
In addition to building a number of parks, the Directorate of Erbil Parks has planted trees in 40 existing parks throughout Erbil.
“However, Erbil still needs one thousand more parks,” argued Eng. Omar.
Although the percentage of the green area in Erbil is still way below the international standards, statistics show that this percentage was only 1% before the establishment of the Directorate of Parks, which has succeeded to raise this to its current value of 8%.
“We have not taken into account the greenery and grass inside the residential houses, and only trees have been included in these calculations,” Omar told the Globe. “If the greenbelt is built around Erbil, the percentage of green area in the city will exceed its international standard.” A minimum of 30% of greenery in urban places is required as per international standards.