Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Why streets are the best place to plant trees

Mounts Bay Rd, Perth (click to enlarge)

Street trees give councils the best bang for their urban forest buck. 

Here's why...

Streets are public land so you always have control. 

It's cool (man)
A council's road network is a giant radiator. It absorbs heat all day and radiates it all night. Shading it prevents this and significantly reduces the municipality's average temperatures. It makes the asphalt last longer too!

Social cohesion
Streets are probably the primary place we experience public life. Enhancing them encourages more time in them and therefore more social interaction. 

Public health
Streets are the place we run, walk and ride our bikes - in other words, get healthy! Recent studies show we do it more if the streets are shady.

Community pride
Tree-lined streets make us feel good about where we live. And that's got to be good for our collective wellbeing, right? 

What's the No.1 thing birds need? Trees. And putting trees in streets puts birds in our lives like nothing else. Love 'em...

Increased property values
I already talked about that here.

And then there's lower crime rates, less use of air conditioners, slower traffic, less water on verges, more money in Grayden's pocket because he's just started a street tree planting business... a recent study even proved that the perceived time you wait for a bus is less in a well treed street!

Bottom line: if someone gave me a million trees and said "transform our city" I would definitely focus on the roads first - and the most used ones first of all.  It's a no-brainer I reckon.

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