From the awareness of soil sealing to green gardens

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With climate change becoming a bigger problem in the Netherlands every year, a change is needed as regards to addressing this problem. The Netherlands has the second highest soil sealing percentage in all of Europe. This means that in relation to other countries, the percentage of total land area that is covered by artificial surface is relatively higher. This excessive amount of soil sealing causes urban areas such as Nijmegen to suffer from floods during heavy rainfall, and extreme temperatures because of the urban heat island effect. Private gardens are a great tool for mitigating the effects of soil sealing as they provide for numerous benefits to the environment. This study tries to find out if the residents in the Dutch city of Nijmegen are aware of the problem of soil sealing and whether this awareness affects their choice in a green(er) garden. Data has been collected by using desk research in the form of examining existing literature around soil sealing and green gardens, as well as interviews with different residents in Nijmegen. A total of 8 interviews with 11 participants were conducted of which 3 interviews were conducted with couples. The software Atlas.ti was used to analyse and sort out the data. Once the results were there, an answer was formulated to the research question of the extent to which the awareness of soil sealing amongst residents in Nijmegen affects their choice in a green garden? This study found that the awareness of soil sealing plays a huge role in choosing for a green garden. However, it turned out that there are many more factors that come into play when making this choice. Therefore it is advised that both municipalities and the local government promote more sources about soil sealing as well as organize more actions against soil sealing, but also use stimulative policies such as subsidies, information and guidance which make it easier for a lot of residents to start a project like greening your garden.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen