Chennai’s depleting green cover

Each person in Chennai has just 9sqm of open space and there is only one tree for every 33 people on the city’s roads. The depleting green cover in Chennai has reduced due to the increase in urbanization. The number of vehicles has increased while, the water bodies in the city are mere sewage outlets for industries and folks of the city.

Green space distribution plays a imperative role in urban planning since they contribute significantly in enhancing ecological quality of metropolitan areas. It improves air quality, urban health, conserving biodiversity, reducing noise, etc. Removal of vegetation cover can be identified as one of the poorest effects of urbanization. Proper distribution of green spaces in urban environments is consequently more inevitable for the sustainable development and healthy living. Hence, it is necessary to identify the green space requirement quantitatively and spatially.


According to Care Earth Trust the green cover and open space of Chennai is reducing by 2% every year.

Greening Strategy

 Subsequently, green spaces required to be created are calculated with respect to WHO standards of green spaces per capita for healthy living (9.5 m2/ person) and a methodology is developed to spatially define appropriate areas to establish them.

The city’s green cover was lost after the  Cyclone Vardah hit in December 2016. According to The Hindu, The Chennai Corporation has done very little to replace the lost green cover in the city.Over 1,00,000 trees were lost. The civic body had assured the citizens that it will be replaced as soon as possible. But no necessary actions have been taken regarding this issue.

A year later, the civic body officials are planning to plant trees on the medians, pedestrian pathways and on public transport facilities like the MRTS stations.

Trees will be planted on the side of roads; small roads will have a canopy of 10 meter width. Salt tolerant trees will be planted on the coastal areas. Nochikupam is one of the areas to get green covers.

A strategy based plan to increase the number of trees in order to make the city a better place for its city to live in should be done. The increase of pollutants in the air and the extreme urbanization has made the city lose its green cover.