In recent years, more and more cities are beginning to appreciate the potential of trackbed as a perfect spot to locate additional green areas. The trend is especially popular in cities that are seeking new ways to improve the quality of life of their residents. Kraków is a leader in the greening of tramway routes in Poland. The Tram to Mistrzejowice is yet another project following this pattern.
Many cities are struggling these days with air pollution and facing limited amount of green spaces. One solution to this problem is the so-called green trackbed: green belts running along streets, tramway tracks or expressways. Their main goal is to improve the quality of life for the residents by increasing green urban areas, reducing noise and protecting against air pollution.
Green trackbed are becoming increasingly popular in cities around the world. Kraków has been investing in green initiatives for years and is ahead of other cities in Poland in terms of green tram infrastructure. There are over 28 kilometers of green routes in the city now. Green tracks have been already introduced for instance on communication routes of 3 Maja Avenue, Kamienna – Prądnicka – Dr. Twardego – Krowodrza Górka, Grzegórzeckie Roundabout – Mały Płaszów and Grota Roweckiego – Czerwone Maki. The planned construction of a new tram route to Mistrzejowice involves an additional 4.2 km of green tracks.
Why is it worth building green tracks?
Green tracks in the city center help to significantly reduce air pollution. Plants absorb harmful substances from the air, such as nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxide, and produce oxygen. More greenery supports biodiversity and attracts different species of birds and insects.
However, the advantages of this solution are not only about ecology. Green tracks also improve the quality of life for the residents. They perform an insulating function: reduce noise and vibrations emitted by trams to the environment. Green tracks absorb sounds from the surroundings, which means residents face less problems with noise.
Green tracks are crucial for improving the quality of life for residents, so more and more cities around the world are opting for this solution. Often times, these areas are introduced as part of revitalization of post-industrial districts or railway infrastructure. This supports creating new, attractive green spaces in the city center.