Trees for Cities calls for 10% increase in urban tree canopy

Charity Trees for Cities is calling on all political parties to increase urban tree canopy by 10% over the next 40 years.

It points out that canopy cover benefits cities by filtering the air and providing shade.

It also notes that tree cover can promote healthy lifestyles and lower crime levels by creating more welcoming streets, which encourage walking and cycling and discourage antisocial behaviour.

Trees for Cities wants the next Government to:

  • Implement a new National Strategy for Urban Trees which aims to increase tree canopy cover in urban areas by at least 10% by 2050 and which prioritises the planting of new trees in deprived areas.
  • Provide statutory guidance to all local authorities with an urban remit to implement a robust tree strategy, which includes the 10% target, prioritises the planting of new trees in deprived areas and works with those communities to ensure they are the right trees in the right places.
  • Give every urban child the right to play under the canopy of a tree, protected from the dangers of excessive heat and sunshine through statutory guidance that all school playgrounds and playgroup outdoor play areas are covered by tree canopies.
  • Sponsor every urban household to plant  a tree in the space outside their house either in the street, communal open space or their own garden as part of an energy use reduction campaign.
  • Embed the socio-economic value of trees and tree planting across all social strategies, including health, crime, social cohesion, regeneration and education, backed up by cost-benefit analysis similar to that already being pioneered in the US and Australia.
  • Make street tree planting part of statutory guidance provided to local authorities to create healthier streets recognising the unique ability of trees to combat many of the health concerns faced by users of busy, exposed, polluted urban streets.

Read the Trees for Cities Manifesto online.


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