NAKHARA (Journal of Environmental Design and Planning)

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Preservation of nature is an integral part of urban planning. Well maintained greenery contributes immensely to social, economic, educational and ecological value, provides space for recreationand personal revitalization, attracts and retains investment for development, reduces noise and sultriness in summer, and enhances property value. Mysore is popularly known as a 'city of palaces and gardens'. The buildings in the city are architecturally beautiful and are endowed with well-maintained parks, open spaces, boulevards, and fountains. However, urban expansion is expected to continue unabated. One of the adverse effects of rapid and relative unplanned growth is heavy encroachment leading to the problem of shrinking green space and Mysore City Corporation resources are inadequate to fully meet the maintenance and expansion needs of the city's green spaces.Mysore has a total of 316 big and small parks in addition to a large number of institutional open spaces and avenue plantations. The main objective of cultivation and management of trees is their contribution to the physical, social and economic well being of the urban community. The city has a few lakes/tanks that add to the beauty and environmental value of the city. These lakes are popular picnic spots and are frequented by nature lovers as they attract a number of migratory birds. Mysore also has a theme park - Chamundi Hill - that is a unique landmark of the city and is a rich heritage site with religious, tourism and ecological importance. The measures suggested by this paper include active involvement of the private sector and NGOs, improved maintenance of green spaces, planting and caring for avenue flowering trees, preservation of agricultural zones, identification of tank/lake-specific activities and their optimal utilization, use of recycled sewage water for irrigation of parks, and protection of natural valleys and drains to increase the capacity of lakes during monsoon.

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