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LEEDing by Example: How D.C. Became the First LEED Platinum City in the World

Contrary to recent actions taken by the Federal government, Washington D.C.’s local government has made unprecedented strides towards creating a cleaner, more sustainable future. The District of Columbia has recently emerged as an environmentally progressive leader and is actively working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, support clean energy innovation, and focus on livability for all... More

Slow Streets: The Key to Greener, Safer Cities

It seems like everyone wants green, tree-lined city streets. Under the filtered light of a towering tree canopy the air is cooler, the city seems more humane, and our minds become calmer. This idyll is far from reality, though, for many of us who walk along streets where trees are stunted or absent altogether. Street... More

Improving Water Quality with Green Infrastructure
Silva Cell Case Study

In 2013, the city of Edmonton in Alberta, Canada began the process of revitalizing its downtown district known as The Quarters Downtown and improving drainage services throughout the neighborhood. A primary component of the project was the creation of The Armature, a pedestrian-oriented streetscape corridor that runs through downtown and connects the four unique districts... More

What We Can Learn From the Street Trees of Baltimore

“She said the prettiest place on earth was Baltimore at night…” (“Streets of Baltimore,” Tompall Glaser and Harland Howard, 1966)  The classic country song “Streets of Baltimore” wasn’t originally penned about trees but maybe it’s time to consider a rewrite. These days, street trees in Baltimore are looking better than ever and, between 2007 and... More

Grassroots Organizing to Narrow the Green Gap

In 2017 I authored a DeepRoot blog post that discussed tree equity and the disproportionate impact a lack of both tree canopy and access to green space has on poor and minority communities.  Many people wondered what was being done to solve these issues and what individuals might do within their own communities to help... More

It’s Time to Take Action to Improve the Quality of Air We Breathe

Air Quality Take a deep breath. Consider that the air you’re breathing in may impact your health. We may not always see it, but air pollution is the cause of some of our most common illnesses. Tiny, invisible particles of pollution penetrate deep into our lungs, bloodstream, and bodies. These pollutants, known as particulate matter,... More

Tree Pits Are the “Pits” But We Can Make Them Better

by Peg Staeheli, PLA FASLA, MIG|SvR Many cities have a long history of tree planting campaigns. However, in order to reap the benefits for health and habitat, we need to continue to help urban trees thrive long after they’re planted. Let’s consider ways we might improve conditions for trees along our streets. Tree pit design... More

Keeping Room for Urban Trees

by Peg Staeheli, MIG|SvR Urban tree canopy is a hot topic these days given its documented benefits to human health and ability to help combat climate change (USDA; ADF) and many cities have a long history of tree planting campaigns. However, in order to reap the benefits for health and habitat, we need to continue... More

Prepare for the Next Drought: Plant Trees

Waiting for the Rain  As I write this in California, I am looking out at a sunny winter’s day. While the sunshine is pleasant, it reminds me that winter is our rainy season, and we don’t want too many sunny days this time of year.     In the San Francisco Bay Area where I live, we... More

What Snow Can Show Us: Getting Inspired by “Sneckdowns”

Winter is upon us, and with it comes snow in many parts of the country. After a decent snowfall the plows come out, and inadvertently begin to illustrate compelling ideas for both traffic calming and public space. Yes, you read that correctly! As plows clear the streets and ensure automotive traffic can get around safely,... More