allison platt & associates


On this page we will explore ideas that we hope will be of interest to visitors to our site.  Ideas about urban design, historic preservation, streetscapes, open space and park design, and construction will all find a place here.  We will feature one article on this page, and include links, subjects and dates for previous articles.

Choosing and Designing for Healthy Urban Trees, Part 1

by Allison Platt, December 2016

Nearly everyone loves, or at least appreciates, the value of trees in urban settings.  They cool the air, filter up to 50% of nearby air pollution, produce oxygen, and provide shade (especially appreciated here in our southern climate).  So it is a cruel irony that such useful organisms are often tortured, starved, and deprived of water, stunting their growth and shortening their lives.  Once landscape architects and allied professionals (arboriculturists, soil scientists, etc.) faced up to this neglect and abuse, we began to formulate ways to correct it.  In the past few decades a wide variety of approaches to improving the health of urban trees have been developed.  Some of the specialized solutions are to address planting trees over structures (subways, utilities, basements, parking structures), and although these solutions are innovative and no doubt work (we will really know if they work in 20 years of so), they are also very expensive.  Other advancements are less expensive and more widely used to prolong the life of urban trees.