Saturday, November 27
06:21 PM

Going green, but judiciously

19 May 2020

Owing to its rough terrain and hot climate, landscaping and afforestation in Muscat city is a herculean task. 

Combined with the tough financial constraints the sultanate finds itself in, Muscat Municipality has redefined its landscape strategy, and is now relying on drought tolerant plants which are sturdy, yet require less water.  

‘The afforestation plans of Muscat Municipality confirm its orientation based on achieving sustainability in maintenance operations and reducing financial expenditures, while minimising the consumption of available resources, as much as possible, in a way that does not affect the beauty of the city and streets. 

‘For this, the number of seasonal flowers/plants has been rationed and the rehabilitation of some sites has been undertaken with modern designs that reduces water consumption,’ Muscat Municipality stated. 

It added that what was important was to take into account the sustainability of projects when developing plans for landscaping and building public parks in Muscat. ‘The fact is that Muscat has a hot climate and rough geography, which makes it difficult to extend treated water network to cover all parts of the governoate. It also pushes urban designers in Muscat Municipality to ensure that landscaping consumes less water in a place which already experiences water scarcity. 

‘One of the solutions was to rely on drought tolerant plants which can live without water for a long time like; local trees, cactii and date palms,’ it stated.  

The plan also include making walkways and recreational areas for public attractive and suitable. By doing this, the municipality aims to spread awareness regarding the importance of maintaining health and protecting oneself against diseases.  

Public gardens are also an indicator of the welfare initiatives undertaken by the government for its citizens. Gardens are also important spaces for holding social events, walking and relaxing areas. They also contribute to regulating temperatures.  

Several designs have been implemented considering the green sustainability motto, the municipality stated. ‘Planting and gardening works are undertaken considering various components such as cost and water use. Use of native plants, stones and other alternatives have been initiated to reduce green spaces. Operational costs and future maintenance costs are reduced with such measures,’ it added.

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