Barriers to preserving urban trees and ways of overcoming them

Jakub Kronenberg

As the numbers of trees in the central districts of Polish towns and cities decrease, so do the possibilities of using nature as a source of benefits for people (i.e. the ecosystem services that trees provide). Industry and growing intensity of street traffic have had a negative influence on the urban environment and human health, subsequently increasing social and economic costs. All of this adversely affects quality of life in city centers and deepens social degradation in some areas. The phenomena traditionally discussed with regard to hindering tree growth in cities are those associated with transport and infrastructure development, such as soil salinization and desiccation, as well as air pollution. However, the institutional, i.e. administrative and social reasons for these phenomena are also worth due consideration. Negative phenomena can be counteracted by improving the environment for urban trees and taking advantage of their services. In order to gain greater insight on the barriers to preserving trees in cities, the Sendzimir Foundation surveyed a number of experts. The results of this study are presented here.

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