Saturday, September 26, 2015

Urban trees: Not bright shiny objects, just supremely useful and necessary for "quality of life."

Rosenbarger Deforestation Project, Thomas Street Edition.

I saw a comment on social media from a friend. He was lamenting the loss of trees being removed to make way for the expansion of Beach Mold & Tool. For those unfamiliar with New Albany, the firm is located on the north side in a suburban setting, at the foot of the Knobs. It may be small consolation, but at least a fair number of trees remain nearby.

My reply was that there ought to be a law: Remove a tree and plant five in its place.

Since we moved into our house in 2003, we've been forced to remove one diseased tree. We've planted about 16, and I like those odds.

As a city, we have a tree board, an arborist and a tree plan. I don't need to spend time researching this issue to know (not guess) that we're not being sufficiently pro-active in restoring an urban street canopy battered by disasters over the past decade. We all know this is because of non-prioritized funding. We've bonded $20 million for parks improvements, which have included the planting of trees in parks, and yet there are entire residential blocks downtown with none.

As this article attests, and as anyone who ever walks downtown in summer can verify, shade equates to coolness. In times of escalating temperature, anything equating to coolness that can supplement the electrical demands of air conditioning is a bonus.

Trees do that. They're a need ... not a want.

Why Urban Trees Solve Most of Our Problems

 ... The unequal allocation of city greenery means that many low-income and nonwhite urbanites are missing out on the benefits of having trees on their city blocks, which, it turns out, are significant.

If your street is peppered with Magnolias and American Sweet Gums, your neighborhood will look better, sound better, and be less windy. Trees in urban spaces suppress noise, beautify monochromatic pavement, and reduce wind speeds.

If offensive city noises do traverse the leafy canopy outside your window, you'll be less stressed about it.

1 comment:

ecology warrior said...

They are cutting those trees down for more parking spaces at The gahan lame Duck swimming pond.