This nifty little article from Grist showcases the efforts of Berkeley-based digital artist Steve Price, whose work powerfully demonstrates the dramatic improvements large, healthy trees make to your average desolate streetscape. Grist reports that Price’s firm, Urban Architecture, “builds ‘photo-realistic visualizations’… for developers, design firms, and local governemnts seeking approval for their ideas.” What a fantastic tool for designers, advocates and regular old citizens trying to persuade towns and municipalities to make changes to use.
(I can’t show the visualizations here because they run in Flash, but make sure to follow the Grist link above to check them out.)
What I love about this exercise is that it makes the possibility of an enhanced street plan seem so real and does a great job communicating the emotional elements of a green streetscape. You can’t help but notice that trees are the one constant among all of these visualizations; they just make the streets seem… happier. That’s a little bit of anthropomorphization, but I stand by it.