These Ficus are working beautifully because they hate where they are.
|Side street off Little Collins St, Melbourne|
They're in a confined space with little light so they're growing tall and leggy* - perfect for this narrow space.
And no root problems either.
Because trees only develop the root system required to support the canopy they have. Small canopy, small root system.
It's another good example that it's not so much the species as what you do with it. Ficus and Planes in particular can be made into just about anything you want in a CBD.
Not just good-doers, great-doers.
* They're being encouraged into this shape by the constant removal of lower laterals too