Blue Spaces (lakes, water bodies) and Green Spaces (forests, parks) have significant contribution in ecosystem services and ecological balance of a city. Water bodies provide drinking water, recharge groundwater aquifers, control urban flooding, support biodiversity and aquatic floral vegetation that maintain the micro environment necessary for the health and well-being. Green Spaces provide much needed oxygen and fix carbon dioxide and thus rescue a city from becoming an urban heat island. They help in micro-climate regulation, erosion reduction and maintaining groundwater levels.
To ensure that people regularly connect with their surrounding natural habitat and help in its conservation and restoration, Earthwatch Institute India has developed the Urban Blue and Green Spaces Project in 5 cities.
It is a scientific and educational initiative wherein people participate to map biodiversity and natural vegetation and also monitor water quality scientifically in a structured and systematic manner. An increase in understanding and valuation of the blue and green spaces in cities by citizens will increase the care and maintenance of these natural habitats in cities, resulting in healthier environment. They also provide socio-cultural and recreational benefits some of which translate into direct economic benefits through tourism.