BY 2030, the world’s green spaces will be more important than ever. They will help improve air and water quality, reduce heatwaves, manage stormwater, increase biodiversity – and even produce sustainable energy.
This was the finding in a global report on Urban Parks 2030, a survey involving 500 landscaping architect students across the world that was commissioned by outdoor power products company Husqvarna.
Respondents believe technical solutions will play a large role in the years to come, with robots, sensors and drones being integral to the upkeep of these areas. Overall, they wanted future maintenance in green spaces to be silent, non-intrusive, yet effective.
Pieter Smuts, the Managing Director of Husqvarna South Africa, said the survey was undertaken to understand how decision makers view the future role of green spaces – thus allowing the company to develop solutions and products that meet tomorrow’s needs.
“The study clearly shows that green spaces are no longer an amenity, they’re a necessity. To achieve the sustainable green spaces envisaged for 2030, professionals need to have the right tools and to deliver this, we’ve pioneered the Silent Nature initiative, a range of quieter, less intrusive, battery-operated solutions.”
These new chainsaws, trimmers, brushcutters and blowers use efficient, long-lasting Lithium-ion batteries, with significantly reduced noise and no fumes.
“While South Africa does not yet have the noise pollution regulations that are being enforced in cities around the United States and Europe, the change to battery operated equipment to maintain the country’s urban green spaces is already growing in popularity,” said Smuts.
“These tools allow work to be done without disturbing residents in their homes, offices, schools, hospitals and parks. Even holiday resorts and game lodges are benefiting.”
One example of this is the use of the tools at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.
“The noise generated by petrol powered leaf blowers has been a source of irritation to our visitors. Our two new Husqvarna blowers with back-pack batteries has solved this problem. The environmental and health benefits of not having to mix petrol and refuel blowers in the garden are an added bonus,” said Philip Le Roux, Curator of the internationally acclaimed garden.
Alf Cutler, the Manager of Makaranga Garden Lodge, said the popular Durban venue has had a similar experience. “We have two Husqvarna battery-powered brushcutters and have found them to be very effective. The ‘silent’ feature around the conference centre and suites is particularly impressive.”
Battery operated outdoor equipment has been criticised for its energy capacity but Julian Ortlepp, an entrepreneur who dedicates his life to nurturing Johannesburg’s urban forests, said this is not the case.
“I have found Husqvarna’s battery-operated chainsaws incredibly reliable and robust. The quietness of these tools has made it possible for us to work in schools, office parks and hospitals during normal working hours,” Ortlepp said.
“I’ve also been impressed by the battery-operated machines, which provide plenty of working hours with literally no maintenance.”