View More

Silva Cell Research Part 2: A selection of our findings

This post is the second in a series of three sharing findings from research conducted on 10 Silva Cell projects across North America. Read part one, where we discuss the study design, data collection, and raw growth results, here. After designing the study and selecting the Silva Cell projects, we had to decide what performance... More

How to Talk About Low Impact Development

Historically, the work of stormwater engineers has involved capturing rainwater and conveying the flows offsite as quickly as possible. This approach led to the development of a vast system of large, centralized treatment facilities handling millions of gallons of stormwater annually – a very efficient, but not very environmentally-minded solution.

Tree-Friendly Development: The Role of a Consulting Arborist

This article is the final one in a series about tree-friendly development. In past articles we discussed tree-friendly design and building practices. Today, we discuss the vital role of a consulting arborist in the tree preservation process. All arborists are not the same “Arborist” is a generic term for a tree specialist. “Certified Arborist” means... More

The Livable City Revolution

Around the globe, cities are rediscovering their industrial land. Once sustained by industry, in some places much of this urban infrastructure has closed down, with only the bones remaining. Today, cities are drawing all types – techies, bankers, artists, and immigrants alike – but space is limited. As urban land becomes more precious, communities reconsider... More

Silva Cell Research Part 1: Study design and raw growth results

In order to document the growth and performance of trees in Silva Cells, and to validate our own approach to designing for both trees alone and trees-and-stormwater in combination, in 2015 we undertook a research and monitoring study of 10 Silva Cell projects across North America. This was a big project, as you might imagine.... More

Urban Soundscapes: Creating Quiet Spaces in a Roaring City

The sounds of the city are adored by some as a source of energy and excitement – the hustle and bustle of people crowding the sidewalks accented by cars and buses whooshing past. Dogs bark, people shout, music plays from a window, and somewhere (hopefully in the distance) a siren wails. These noises are as... More

Preserving Trees on a Development Site: Contractor’s Best Practices

Good design preserves existing trees during a development project. However, the most tree-sensitive design will not be enough if tree-friendly building practices are not in place. Many times a tree that was damaged during development may not show symptoms of decline for a few years, so the cause and effect is often not obvious, unless... More

Leeds’ Urban Renewal Brings Trees to the City Centre
Silva Cell Case Study

The City of Leeds, located in West Yorkshire, is the second largest legal and financial centre in the UK, as well as one of its most rapidly growing cities. In recent years, Leeds’ City Council has undertaken major urban renewal and redevelopment initiatives to help strengthen the local economy and to continue to develop the... More

LID Design Considerations for an Uncertain Climate Future

Historically, the best way to plan for future storms has been to look at the past. Significant effort has been put into to developing long-term rainfall records, and many of the most complex stormwater models are designed to run simulations that represent decades of rainfall data. But a changing climate means that storm patterns are... More

Two New Tools for Planning a Healthy Urban Canopy

Trees are a vital part of urban communities, providing social, environmental, and economic benefits. However, the urban environment is a difficult one for most trees due to the added stresses of soil compaction and lack of available soil, among many other challenges. Once established, their success is often further complicated by infrastructure conflicts and maintenance... More