A Cooling Tool for CSO Hot Spots

There are many significant benefits to an MS4 (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System) approach to managing urban stormwater. Many newer cities are fortunate to have such a system in place, but a great many don’t. Instead, they have a combined sewer system (CSS) where the same set of pipes handles both stormwater runoff and waste… More

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Smart Tree Care and Maintenance – Even More Lessons

In part one of this series, we gave recommendations for how to address tree maintenance needs in a smarter and more financially (and ecologically) sustainable way. In part two, we shared specific lessons from other cities that I was aware of – and asked you to reach out and share your experience. Today, we’ll share… More

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The Urban Forest as an Asset Class

We all know that street trees have value; you frequently hear statistics about how much energy savings they offer, or how much they add to the selling price of a home. And in some cases, for example with heritage trees or in environmentally sensitive areas, trees are identified as assets for planning and permitting purposes…. More

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LEED and SITES: The Changing Landscape

A few years ago I wrote an article about how LEED v4 addressed designing for trees, soils, and stormwater (green infrastructure).  Two big things have changed since then, so a follow-up explaining what’s new in this sustainable building certification system is in order: Project registration for LEED v2009 was extended by two years – by… More

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Phoenix, AZ’s Once and Future Forest

Richard Adkins, the Forestry Supervisor for the city of Phoenix, Arizona, likes to joke that despite the perception, Phoenix actually does have an Urban Forest. I met Richard when we were both speakers this past August at the American Public Works Association (APWA). He spoke to me about Phoenix’s current urban forest and some of… More

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Success Factors For Civilian Urban Tree Care

A natural forest depends on a variety of partnerships between plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms. An urban forest depends on a similarly complex series of partnerships, albeit mostly between humans. Many biological factors affect the survival of an urban tree. I want to compare two studies involving community forestry programs about young urban tree establishment… More

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Smart Tree Care and Maintenance Lessons from other cities

In part one of this post, I gave my recommendations for how to address tree maintenance needs in a smarter and more financially (and ecologically) sustainable way. Those recommendations are great, but also general. I think we benefit the most when we share as much specific information about implementing ideas as possible, so today I… More

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1 Million Trees: Vision or Nightmare?

In 1982, I was in China studying landscape architecture and architecture at the University of Nanjing. The central Chinese government had recently announced they would recommit to a nationwide multi-billion tree planting program, originally initiated in 1978. By then the Cultural Revolution was over, Mao Zedong was dead, the Gang of 4 had been jailed, and… More

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Is i-Tree Underestimating Eco-Benefits of Urban Trees?

We have long known that urban trees help mitigate air pollution. But what about questions of how significant that mitigation is, how we track it, and where it occurs? A 2014 paper, “Assessing the relationship among urban trees, nitrogen dioxide, and respiratory health” by Linda George, Meenkashi Rao, Todd Rosenstiel, Vivek Shandas, and Alexis Dinno… More

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10 Thoughts on Texas’s Trees

What’s happening in Texas? As far as we can tell, a lot. The Lone Star state is making some huge investments in sustainable development, including green infrastructure. L. Peter MacDonagh, FASLA – who has visited the state many times over the years, and twice in the last few months to speak about using trees and soils… More

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