It doesn’t matter what the question is, the answer is street trees!

This title is based on a saying my good friend (and now Buckley Vann International) colleague Warren Rowe and I adopted after an overseas study tour a few years ago.

It basically makes the point that any urban environment looks better and works better with trees in the street. I was reminded of it recently by this article about the leafing of New York City, which featured comparisons like these:

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Sure, choosing the right species is important, as is the concept of complete streets; but street trees introduce nature into a man made environment, softening sometimes harsh settings, and offer practical benefits like shade and shelter, as well as somewhere for dogs to lift a leg! And of course, there are the biophylic benefits that contact with nature offers our mental health.

So that’s pretty much a tick in every box. And that’s why I like this saying!

When I focused on the topic, I realised I often post pictures of well treed urban environments, like this one of a couple of eastern suburb streets I posted on Instagram while in Sydney over the weekend:

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Or this one from last week, of the main entry road into a dry and dusty Moranbah in the Bowen basin coal mining area:

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Or this recent one from Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall:

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The matter even got a mention in the Next Generation Planning Handbook we helped write:

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If anyone know of a situation where introducing street trees hasn’t improved the urban environment, please let me know!

Greg Vann
December 2014

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