Saturday, 20 May 2017

Trees, people and the built environment

Trees might be good and hedges better:
Futures Forum: Trees are good at absorbing pollution, but hedges are better

But trees are still pretty good:
Futures Forum: Living close to trees and green spaces is good for you

This was the message at a big conference last month:
Trees, People and the Built Environment 3 | TPBE3 | International Urban Trees Research Conference

And there were several issues considered:

Presentations included:
Healthy trees, healthy people
Health and the natural and built environment
Wellbeing, community, mental health and the built environment
Integrating tree policies into highway policies 
Designing the Underworld
Engaging children with nature
Trees as integral part of infra-structure design
Everyday green space and experiencedwell-being: the significance of wildlifeencounters

With some feedback: 

TPBE3: Did it deliver?

 It is telling that Craig Hinton (www.enspec.com) travelled furthest from Melbourne, but managed to give us high quality images, plenty of humour, and virtually no text.  A great effort and worth attending for his insights on data management alone.  
Closer to home, Sally York MICFor, Education & Policy Advisor for Forestry Commission Scotland, stood out because of both valuable content, namely the importance of getting children closer to nature, and great images, which seems to characterise FC speakers (maybe they have good access to presenter training and images!).  She also delivered the quote of the Conference “The child is the indicator species of cities.”  Well done to both of them.
There were three other outstanding talks;  Dr Matilda van den Bosch, from the University of British Colombia, encapsulated what we all know, but never seems to be acted upon by government, i.e. the positive impact of trees and greenspace on public health.  I can’t wait to get my hands on her forthcoming book Nature and Public Health.  
Professor Peter Duinker from Dalhousie University, Canada, brought his forestry expertise to urban tree management, and delivered some original and interesting ideas.  Most useful to me was his challenge to the validity of individual/isolated tree planting if delivery of benefits is an important objective;  it seems that lots of small trees planted close together provide optimum benefits quicker.  
Finally, James Urban, a top US landscape architect, engaged us with his insights into soil volumes needed for urban trees to flourish.  Most telling from him was a direct and condemning criticism of British Standard 3882 (2015) Specification for topsoil, stating his view that it was not fit for use and specifically that we have to stop using screened soils.  His observations reinforce the increasing concern in the UK that the BSI business model is failing the dissemination of important information to where it is most needed.

TPBE3: Did it deliver? - Institute of Chartered Foresters

No comments: