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Site assessment and analysis

Site assessment and analysis

Goodwin, Duncan (2016) Site assessment and analysis. Trees in the Urban Landscape. Routledge. (Submitted)

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Abstract

For trees to become functionally useful within our urban landscapes, they need to establish and reach a state of healthy, productive maturity. Unfortunately, tree planting is often seen as a piece of 'window dressing' to assist a development scheme through the planning process, with little thought about the long-term requirements of the planting shown on the drawings and in the promotional visualisations. After all, how difficult can it be? Trees seed themselves and grow naturally in woodlands and forests with no assistance or intervention from us. However, human impacted landscapes such as those found in urban areas bear virtually no relationship to those of woodlands and forests. urban soils have invariably been fundamentally altered through excavation, filling, grading and compaction, compounded by contamination from the construction and use of buildings and roads. Planting sites are often surrounded by the hard materials which typify the built environment and so are subject to high temperatures from reflected and re-radiated energy from the sun. The hard surfacing necessary to facilitate the unimpeded flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic through our urban centres prevents the even spread of rainfall being absorbed by the soil. As a consequence, water availability for plants tends to be highly erratic. Tall buildings can modify the behaviour of wind, sometimes concentrating or funnelling it through gaps and along roads. These are hostile conditions for the majority of plants and can make tree establishment especially problematic. We can see this from national tree surveys.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Site evaluation; Urban trees; Urban ecology; Urban microclimate; Urban tree diversity
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GB Physical geography
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Architecture & Landscape
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 17:19
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/15444

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