We've got the ideas to help climate plan

Full marks to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, for his pledge to boost street trees across the capital.

As horticulturists have been quick to point out, however, he and his team will need to do some serious thinking on securing funding for street-tree maintenance if this aspect of his draft adaptation plan isn't to whither on the vine. And he'll be needing our industry to advise on how best to "green up" the city to protect against climate-change impacts.

Fortunately for Johnson, this past year has seen the emergence of an extraordinary body of research and initiatives in this area from the horticulture profession, which knows best how to make the vision of a fully functioning city, whatever the weather, a reality. Take for instance the launch of the Urban Canopy Initiative at July's excellent trees and climate-change conference, organised by tree consultancy TEP. The initiative, which takes as its aim the reversal of urban deforestation, is already bearing fruit - with one major council planning to incorporate the initiative into its green-space strategy.

The mayor should also be talking to the likes of Keith Sacre of Bartram Trees, whose detailed analysis of planting in London shows large trees being replaced with smaller genera offering a much-reduced canopy.

There are many more examples. But the mayor's team might like to finish with this summer's ground-breaking study into the economic value of parks conducted by researchers in Philadelphia. It has earned that city's mayor heaps of good publicity for following up with a commitment to put serious cash behind green-space maintenance.

- Get talking at www.HorticultureWeek.co.uk

Just got back from one of this week's big trade shows full of ideas? Why not share some of your thoughts with your colleagues by posting a comment on one of Horticulture Week's new online discussion forums. Part of our new-look website, offering daily news, the best blogs in the sector, an archive of articles and much more, the Horticulture Week forums aim to give you the chance to talk to your community, debate with your peers - or just have your say. Over to you

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