Cities need trees. It is the most valuable element of urban greenery

Cities need trees.  It is the most valuable element of urban greenery

Trees are the most valuable and valuable in urban greenery – told PAP Dr. Justyna Rubaszek from the University of Life Sciences in Wrocław. Their presence not only improves the quality of life of residents, but also has a positive impact on the environment, biodiversity and climate – she added.

Experts dealing with landscape architecture agree that the provisions of law in Poland are not favorable for the development of urban or roadside greenery.

“A tree in newly designed streets in our country can be planted no closer than 3 m from the edge of the road. This recipe applies to all tree species, regardless of their size, which is not a good solution” – Dr. Justyna Rubaszek from the Institute of Landscape Architecture at the University of Environmental and Life Sciences in Wrocław told PAP.

The most valuable for cities

According to the expert, trees are an extremely valuable and valuable element of urban greenery. Meanwhile, when designing streets, it is their introduction that causes the most problems.

“If we do not plan to plant a tree on the street, it will be impossible to find a place for it at the implementation stage. This is related to numerous requirements regarding the route of other utilities – sewage or electricity” – she emphasized.

Why is it worth planting trees along the streets? According to the PAP interlocutor, there are many reasons. First of all, in the summer they provide the desired shade, besides, they produce oxygen and purify the city air, regulate the circulation of water in nature, and improve the microclimate. Where there is more vegetation, the temperature is lower, which can be felt especially in hot weather.

“However, trees in the city must be taken care of. We need to create conditions for them to develop an appropriate root system, which is often forgotten” – noted the expert and added that it often happens that the roots of a tree in natural conditions extend further than its crown.

Rows of trees

Trees are also very important for the composition and aesthetics of the street. They can be placed in points or in the form of intermittent rows. Therefore, on each newly designed street in the city there should be a place for at least a few trees. “The choice of species depends on the location, in some areas large species will be indicated, in others smaller ones” – pointed out Dr. Rubaszek.

Some people believe that trees pose a threat – both to drivers and passers-by. Their branches can fall, for example, onto the pavement, and cars can crash into their thick trunks. “Therefore, it is important to plan properly and select tree species that are not breakable. In addition, trees, just like other elements of urban infrastructure – e.g. road lamps – need to be taken care of. Then there will be no tragedy.” – emphasized the expert. If drivers respect the speed limits, trees, which are usually located away from the road anyway, do not pose a threat or are as dangerous as any other stationary element of the street – building facades or advertising poles.

According to Dr. Rubaszek, ensuring greenery on the street does not have to be at the expense of the number of parking spaces, which are never too many. “It’s all a matter of proper planning” – thinks.

– Is there a chance that there will be more trees on the newly designed Polish streets? Awareness of proper planning and design is constantly growing, so we hope so, says the researcher.

Dr. Justyna Rubaszek is a co-author of a publication on street planning and development standards, taking into account greenery. They were ordered by the Wrocław magistrate. The publication will be made available to all interested parties in early 2020.

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