Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Initiative Includes Silva Cells

Baltimore’s Healthy Harbor Initiative was just released, and it looks fantastic.

The initiative details the following goals for trees in the Baltimore Harbor area:
Increase soil rooting areas, improve overall tree health, provide more wildlife habitats, increase tree canopy and shading, reduce heat island effect and increase landscape stormwater management capacity.

I’m especially happy that they actually specify a soil volume target of 1,500 cubic feet of soil per tree in the report. Let’s hope they really mean 1,500 cubic feet of net usable soil, rather than 1,500 cubic feet of structural soil — which would be only about 300 cubic feet of usable soil for the tree. Page 15 shows an illustration of the Silva Cell as one of the proposed technologies to meet these design goals.

The initiative also details ambitious plans to reduce energy consumption, promote public transportation and car sharing, and restore the Baltimore Harbor to a biologically rich and healthy body of water. There are some especially neat illustrations of floating islands that will provide habitats for fish and other aquatic life on page 16 (I love how the caption for the illustration calls it a “fish-eye view”). The entire report is organized into short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, with most of the mid-term goals having completion dates around 2015.

The Healthy Harbor Initiative was put together by Waterfront Partnership of BaltimoreBiohabitats and Mahan Rykiel.

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