Trees as infrastructure: Part one

This is one of two related articles on “Trees as infrastructure: An open source model to support municipalities in transitioning toward resilient urban forest management practices.” In this first blog, we examine why municipalities are struggling to reach tree-planting targets. In the second blog, we will develop a proposition for supporting cities to transition towards green infrastructures.

 

1. Social and ecosystem benefits associated with urban trees are widely supported by scientific research

 

We are seeing a growing acknowledgement of the importance of trees to combat (and mitigate the impacts of) the climate crisis—including within our cities. However, a series of structural problems inherent in our urban forestry management processes are working against the more and more ambitious tree-planting targets that cities are announcing.

 

A historical transition for urban tree systems: Then and now

 

2. Twentieth century treatment of street trees: (left) early proposal for the organisation of the New York Bureau of City Forestry; (right) celebrating a tree surgeon’s work in Queens

 

 

3. Twentieth century models of urban forest management persist in the twenty-first century: A survey map and photograph marking felled trees in the Mitte district, Berlin

 

 

4. The Greener Grangetown green infrastructure project in Cardiff developed an innovative scheme for rainwater management

 

Why municipalities are struggling to increase urban forest growth

 

 

5. Two approaches to tree felling timescales: A. conventional forest management timescale where the optimal age to fell and replant trees is planned to optimise timber volume production; B. optimal timescale where the optimal age to fell and replant trees is planned to maximise social and ecosystem tree benefits

 

 

6. Tree benefits time chart for a tree in mainstream urban forestry practices

 

7. Tree benefits time chart for a tree planted and maintained in conditions to thrive

 

 

8. Study showing sustainable metrics before and after completion of the Greener Grangetown green infrastructure project in Cardiff

 

 

 

9. Different methodologies exist for valuing trees as assets: (1) focused on their visual relevance, (2) their market value, (3) their amenity value, and (4) the total value associated with ecosystem services

 

 

 

10. Suzanne Simard has proven that trees exchange nutrients, compete and communicate via a network of underground fungi

 

 

The need for a boring revoltion, and relation shift

 

What next?

 

11. How do we value our urban forests? Exhibition, Somerset House, 2019

 

 

 

This article first appeared on Dark Matter’s Medium account.

 
Location
Related Focus Area
Urban Transitions
Related Goal
Goal 2: Nurture nature-based resilience for cities
Articles you may be interested in
In The News
What will it take to build the New European Bauhaus?

“Beautiful, Sustainable, Together”. These are the values – and...

What will it take to build the New European Bauhaus?
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC selects five partners in Global South to implement gender main...

The intersection of climate and innovation remains a male-dominated...

EIT Climate-KIC selects five partners in Global South to implement gender mainstreaming into entrepreneurship
In The News
Citizens inspire a car-free Leuven

A broad survey, possible solutions displayed on screens, inspirational...

Citizens inspire a car-free Leuven
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC accelerates climate tech solutions for a net-zero Africa 

Climate-focused start-up teams in developing countries face distinct challenges...

EIT Climate-KIC accelerates climate tech solutions for a net-zero Africa 
In The News
New European Bauhaus Hackathons will reward most innovative solutions

EIT Community New European Bauhaus partners will be hosting...

New European Bauhaus Hackathons will reward most innovative solutions
In The News
Slovenia takes a pivotal turn towards circularity

Slovenia has decided to actively combat climate change by...

Slovenia takes a pivotal turn towards circularity
In The News
Innovative climate projects part of EIT Community New European Bauhaus initiat...

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

Innovative climate projects part of EIT Community New European Bauhaus initiative
In The News
A new air and climate plan for Milan

The City Council of Milan approved the Air and...

A new air and climate plan for Milan
In The News
Meet the three EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards

Three innovators from EIT Climate-KIC’s community have been nominated...

Meet the three EIT Climate-KIC innovators nominated for EIT Awards
In The News
100 European cities take up the challenge to become carbon neutral by 2030

On Monday 13 June, the representatives of the 100...

100 European cities take up the challenge to become carbon neutral by 2030
In The News
The role of cities and regions in transforming wood value chains

Climate smart forest economies It’s a crucial decade for...

The role of cities and regions in transforming wood value chains
In The News
Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate acti...

Scotland’s largest city region is actively tackling climate change...

Glasgow City Region pioneering forest economy innovation to drive climate action
In The News
Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe

EIT Climate-KIC and Built by Nature, announce an initiative...

Forging sustainable timber construction in Europe
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme

EIT Climate-KIC is launching Circularity Thinking courses to tackle...

EIT Climate-KIC launches new Circularity Thinking training programme
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster

EIT Climate-KIC selected four cleantech start-ups to be part...

EIT Climate-KIC announces four winners of EIT Community Booster
In The News
Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage

Climate change is going to get worse, but curbing global warming is...

Science reveals last paths to stop irreversible planetary damage
In The News
EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners

Supported by the EIT Community, the New European Bauhaus...

EIT Community presents New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards winners
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate clima...

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of...

EIT Climate-KIC joins forces with the Government of Ireland to stimulate climate innovation in the agri-food sector
In The News
Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambit...

Climate Lab in Vienna will give climate actors an...

Climate Lab: EIT Climate-KIC co-initiates hotspot for Vienna’s climate ambitions
In The News
Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report

On 28 February, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6)...

Seven takeaways from the latest IPCC report
In The News
EIT launches new Global Outreach website

The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) has...

EIT launches new Global Outreach website
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups

Working on transformative, systemic innovation to accelerate a net-zero...

EIT Climate-KIC and Amazon launch call for sustainable start-ups
In The News
Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Awar...

Do you want to support innovative solutions that integrate...

Votes open for the 2021 New European Bauhaus Ideation Awards – Audience Award
In The News
Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storag...

Brill Power, supported by EIT Climate-KIC, has launched the...

Brill Power’s new innovation radically increases battery life and storage capacity
In The News
EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop delivered a talk,...

EIT Climate-KIC CEO Dr. Kirsten Dunlop gives TEDx Talk
In The News
Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek mar...

To tackle complex climate challenges, we need a broader...

Putting theory into practice: EIT Climate-KIC Pioneer innovating the Greek maritime sector
In The News
EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Instit...

Unlocking the potential of higher education institutions for innovation...

EIT launches call for proposals to boost innovation in Higher Education Institutions
In The News
The Dolomites forging climate resilience

The Italian Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are...

The Dolomites forging climate resilience
In The News
People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan

The region’s climate action plan has been announced, with...

People-powered resilience: Andalusia announces new climate action plan
In The News
Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable co...

The built environment accounts for close to 40 per...

Built by Nature: new initiative to accelerate the transition to sustainable construction in cities