Everyone is familiar with the “landlord special” — painted-over light switches, windows that don’t entirely open, and in this case, slabs of concrete where lush lawns should be. One Redditor is showing other folks how the space outside their building has been decorated with nothing besides concrete slabs.
The user shared a photo of their outdoor space with the title, “Who needs plants when you can have concrete?” on the r/LandlordLove forum. While there are some bushes in the distance, there are few flowers or grassy spots next to the stairs.
The main environmental problem associated with this much concrete, particularly in an urban area, is the amount of water runoff across the impervious surface. This can create flooding issues since there is nowhere for the water to go. In contrast, grass and natural surfaces soak up water that’s hitting the surface, while hard surfaces displace the water.
In contrast, green spaces with native plants can help make a home for important pollinators like bees and butterflies. They can also break up the monotony of an urban landscape and provide a beautiful, aesthetic appearance to spaces. In addition, since many of these plants are well-adapted to a particular climate zone, they tend not to require as much additional watering as a water-hungry grass space.
Although this landlord might be resistant to pulling up all that concrete to plant native species, there is an opportunity for residents to use container gardening to help promote ecological vibrancy in the urban jungle. Besides outside the building, residents can also utilize their porches, windowsills, and really anywhere that plants can fit to help boost the lushness of their space.
One commenter was impressed with the potential of the space.
“I know this sucks environmentally and morally speaking, but I’m ngl I think I’d have fun making that space into something really cool,” they said.
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