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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
Curated by Lauren Moss
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'Spaces to Ramble': Why Cities Need More Central Parks

'Spaces to Ramble': Why Cities Need More Central Parks | green streets | Scoop.it
An interactive walk explores what a space like Central Park can provide to city dwellers.

Last weekened, Jon Cotner, who co-wrote a book of dialogues conducted from interactions around the city, led a small group on an interactive walk through Central Park.

Cotner told us that Frederick Law Olmsted, the park’s designer and one-time superintendent, had written that the park should “secure pure and wholesome air, to act through the lungs.” He also wanted to provide “an antithesis of objects of vision to those of the streets and houses.” And on a perfect day like Sunday, it’s easy to see that he succeeded, providing a place for urbanites to go, enjoy the natural environment and relax.

 

As an ever-growing portion of the population shifts to cities, natural spaces like these are becoming more important. At the beginning of the walk, Cotner told us, “Central Park wasn’t intended to be a condemnation of this intense progress”—the creep of buildings north along Manhattan. “It was meant to accommodate such developments.” Spaces like Central Park help people crowd together, saving land and energy: As he put it, the park “reconciles the urban with the rural.” If we’re going to live in cities, we’re going to need more places like Central Park, which can deliver the experience of the natural world to those who crave it...

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New shade of green for the city

New shade of green for the city | green streets | Scoop.it

It's out with the old and in with a new tree canopy for Melbourne. 

Now that the solitary, gangly pine tree - 30 metres tall and all that remains of the celebrated Takata Matsubara forest in north-east Japan after the tsunami last March - is dying, all hopes are being pinned to grafting the tree and raising seedlings.

The pine, which until 10 months ago was just one amid 70,000, has come to mean more than its lean trunk and thin crown, something more than its materiality. It has become a symbol of hope and, for a time at least, survival.
Just as trees provide the bones of many private gardens, they help set the tone of the wider public landscape. Like the Japanese pine, this can be because of the emotions we pin to them as well as their physical presence.

Trees - ever-changing and ultimately dying, as they do - can never be viewed as a static part of the landscape and, under the strategy, the emphasis will be on increasing biodiversity and introducing a much wider range of plant species (both natives and exotics) with varying life expectancies, growth rates and growing conditions. Green roofs, walls and balconies will also play a bigger role...

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Mapping the trees of New York, one by one

Mapping the trees of New York, one by one | green streets | Scoop.it
A project to map the location and condition of each tree in NYC opens up doors for citizen stewardship, inviting New Yorkers to be unlikely forest workers.
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The High Cost of Losing Urban Trees

The High Cost of Losing Urban Trees | green streets | Scoop.it
Tennessee reaps a $638 million yearly benefit from its urban trees – and an $80 billion loss if they disappeared.

Through energy savings, air and water filtering and carbon storage, the urban trees of Tennessee account for more than $638 million in benefits, according to a report [PDF] conducted by the Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and released earlier this year.

The biggest savings are attributed to carbon storage, which the authors of the report value at an estimated $350 million. Collectively, the state's urban trees store about 16.9 million tons, with each ton stored worth about $20.70 to the state every year. Air and water filtration is also one of the functional benefits of urban trees, and the report estimates the value of this work at $204 million per year. The trees are credited with removing 27,100 tons of pollutants each year, including ozone, particulate matter, and sulfur dioxide. And because of the shading they provide, these urban trees are credited with saving about $66 million in energy costs annually.

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Shaun Scallan's curator insight, January 27, 2014 11:45 PM

The urban forest is part of the forest big picture.

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Trees In Transit

Trees In Transit | green streets | Scoop.it

Changes in transit design that aim to make roads and car traffic safer are one critical component of the complete streets movements underway across North America. Vehicle usage is responsible for staggering CO2 emissions, human injury and death, energy consumption, and more. Still, cars remain a part of the urban landscape, and street design that integrates them safely is imperative. Speed bumps, street markings, speed limits and other measures have all been used to create safer conditions for all users of the road. But what about trees?


Via Ana Valdés, Sandro Malfitano, Jandira Feijó
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elsa hunziker's comment, January 30, 2012 2:26 PM
Bucket list....