Housing intensification in Hamilton.
New Zealand’s urban green space has dwindled over the past six decades. The Commissioner for the Environment has issued a warning and a challenge – get greener before climate change gets meaner.
Photo: Jaana Dielenberg
Urban plantings are part of the solution to living in warmer cities, but most tree and shrub species in the world’s cities will struggle too. The impacts on liveability could be huge.
Seen from above, parts of our cities now have very little green space, and we’re losing the green corridors that enable wildlife to move between the remaining urban habitats.
A street fan provides relief on a hot summer day in New York City.
Stephen Chernin/Getty Images
Extreme heat waves are putting lives in danger, with some of the hottest urban neighborhoods 10 degrees hotter or more than their wealthier neighbors. Often, these are communities of color.
Interstate 980 cuts off West Oakland, Calif., at top, from other Oakland neighborhoods.
Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images
Two urban policy experts explain why taking down highways that have isolated low-income and minority neighborhoods for decades is an important part of the pending infrastructure bill.
Emerald ash borer larva cut these feeding galleries on the trunk of a dead ash tree in Michigan.
corfoto via Getty Images
Biological control strategies curb pests using other species that attack the invader. A biologist explains why it can take more than a decade to develop an effective biological control program.
As a tree scientist who works with urban trees, I can assure you some large, old trees are well worth leaving alone, even you find them annoying sometimes.
Somerset House is an example of enlightenment architecture, which precluded greenery which was believed to obscure its strong lines and go against ‘reason’.
All symmetrical lines and strict proportions, Enlightenment architecture believed that nature got in the way of reason.
Avenues of Honour were planted to remind us of the sacrifice and suffering of our servicemen and women. But as the years wore on, many declined or disappeared.
Tennessee warblers (
Leiothlypis peregrina) breed in northern Canada and spend winters in Central and South America.
Cities are danger zones for migrating birds, but there are ways to help feathered visitors pass through more safely
Drop of Light/Shutterstock
We must re-establish contact between our cities and the natural world.
Sleep might be a key factor in the link between greener neighbourhoods and better health. A new study shows living in an area with more tree canopy improves people’s odds of getting enough sleep.
Inner Melbourne alone has lost 2,000 street trees to major developments within a decade. Losing tree cover makes it even more difficult for our cities to cope with an increasingly tough climate.
Turning a street tree into timber is much more respectful and useful than mulching it all.
City trees are often short-lived and many others get cut down in their prime. Turning them into mulch both wastes timber and releases stored carbon. A wood rescue program creates a more fitting legacy.
Where’s the shade? Trees are not an immediate or whole answer to keeping cool.
Trees and the shade they provide are one of the best ways of cooling cities. But they also present challenges that are best resolved by managing this shared resource as part of an urban commons.
Allowing residents to remove trees within three metres of buildings or ‘ancillary structures’ could dramatically alter the green infrastructure of dense inner Sydney suburbs like Rozelle.
Greater urban density is making it harder to preserve, let alone increase, tree cover. It’s vital, then, to demonstrate the full value of green infrastructure for healthy liveable cities.
Imagine Hyde Park in Sydney without its tree cover … the impact on this space and the many people who spend time in it would be profound.
Cities around Australia have plans to increase their green space, but new research shows not all green spaces are equal. Good tree cover is better than grassed areas for residents’ mental health.
Australian cities could lose some of their most common trees to climate change.
Thirty tree species make up more than half of Australia’s urban forests. Some won’t survive climate change, so cities must plant a more diverse mix of the right species to preserve their tree cover.
Contact with nature reduces stress and aggression, one reason scholars say urban green space may reduce violence.
Some parks reduce violence in the local vicinity. Other parks attract crime. The difference has to do with how these urban green spaces are designed, programmed and managed, experts say.
The lonely Malham Ash at dawn in Yorkshire Dales National Park.
A new study has calculated the tremendous cost of ash dieback to the UK economy.