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Old 04-05-2013, 05:21 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 4,713,037 times
Reputation: 2538

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
City houses were often meant to be on public display to the street - that's why they aren't recessed far back on properties.
That's not the reason they aren't recessed.

They aren't recessed because buildings frame the street and create the sense of place. The buildings become the walls of an outdoor room.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:39 PM
 
Location: Michigan
4,571 posts, read 7,029,475 times
Reputation: 3599
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
It's interesting how much trees are correlated to both education and income.
I think I vaguely remember this topic.

But yea I think I read about how tree planting is apart of the city budget and obviously cities are limited to how many trees they can replant/maintain. Typically, cities will save money by planting less trees in some parts of the city or simply planting a lot near major landmarks (parks, major thoroughfares, civic areas, etc).

The street I live on has barely any new trees and it seems like much of them have been cut down. They did plant a lot around city hall and the road next to it though...not sure if it necessarily correlates to the demographics of the area.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Philaburbia
32,364 posts, read 59,787,282 times
Reputation: 54006
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm sure people have noticed in their own metros there has been an increasing focus on putting street trees in, particularly in neighborhoods which have little to no front yard, to try and make the area look less desolate.
And this is undesirable ... how?

Quote:
I like to go on scenic walks in, for example, have trees so grown out that except during the winter houses you cannot see the homes clearly at all.
I'm sure the neighbors are thrilled to know you can't peer into their windows.

Quote:
Are street trees everywhere really needed?
The shade sure is nice, and I'm addicted to oxygen. Not sure about you.

Quote:
It's not as if street trees were part of the original typology here
The trees were here before we were.

Quote:
, and to some extent it feels like putting a suburban characteristic into an urban area
Seriously?

Quote:
City houses were often meant to be on public display to the street - that's why they aren't recessed far back on properties.
No, they're not set back as far in order to cram more houses on less space.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nei View Post
While the tree sounds nice, I don't get the privacy benefit. It's not like people normally stop and stare inside a house.
Seriously?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Yes, I realize corner lots were desirable. In general, they're still considered desirable b/c you get a bit more yard that way.
Ohhhhhh, not me. More sidewalk to shovel in the winter, more sidewalk to edge in the summer.
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Old 04-05-2013, 06:11 PM
 
Location: Laurentia
5,593 posts, read 6,370,145 times
Reputation: 2387
Quote:
Originally Posted by Komeht View Post
Street trees serve multiple purposes in urban environments:

1. They provide a layer of projection against street traffic for pedestrians.
2. They soften the hard edges of the city.
3. They dampen sound.
4. The provide shade and even shelter in light rain.
5. They help to create a "sense of place" by defining space and reducing scale of a wide street.
6. The help mitigate heat island effect.
7. The provide habitats for other animals to enjoy
8. The are excellent carbon sinks

Street trees have been around about as long as there have been cities for very good reasons.

The OP's link was to a lovely shaded treelined street that would be welcome around here in mid-July. A perfect example of why they are desirable.
I agree with all of your points, which is quite rare coming from me. In addition to all of this, trees provide shade and take the edge off all the heat that reflects from the building facades. Cars heat up a lot when they are exposed to sunlight (due to the effects of the glass windows), so if the streets are shaded motorists won't have to use as much air conditioning. I happen to like having some nature in urban environments (with the exception of weeds ) and I also think the tree-lined streets are more attractive. The only proviso should be that the trees should be pruned back and strategically placed such that road signs are clearly visible and visibility at intersections isn't impaired.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,872,641 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arkansas Mac View Post
I love trees.

However, if a city plants them they should be aware of what those trees might do to power lines in a storm once those trees mature.
Power lines need to be buried like they are in most of the developed world. As long as power lines are above ground, there will be issues with weather. Using power lines as an excuse to cut down or not plant trees, is perverse. Most utility companies spend more money cutting trees on their easements, then they would in the long run to just bury the lines. The customers pay the price. Not only with unsightly wires, but with unreliable utility service.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
Reputation: 10533
People really seem to be misinterpreting my original post.

My point is street trees are used as a one-sized fits all solution for every urban street. While they do improve the look of virtually every street while they are small, as they grow out they can really begin to obscure the streetscape, and eventually make the street into a cavelike area if a closed canopy develops (which really only happens when they don't need to be trimmed for power lines).

Will this happen on every street? No, of course not. Pretty much any two-way road which has room for streetside parking on both sides will have ample room for trees without resulting in a closed-off feeling. The same is true in cities like Detroit, where the houses even in the oldest, most urban feeling areas were set far back on the property.

The question is when you're dealing with narrow roads, coupled with minimal setbacks. Particularly if the buildings are small (2-3 stories), once street trees grow to any reasonable height they can majorly block the impact of architectural details on the houses.

FWIW, I've always found suburban areas where the houses are totally obscured by trees also ugly. I don't like front lawns much, but on the other hand, I don't think the whole "make my front yard into an impenetrable forest for privacy." really does much for neighborhood feel.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:24 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,872,641 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
I'm sure people have noticed in their own metros there has been an increasing focus on putting street trees in, particularly in neighborhoods which have little to no front yard, to try and make the area look less desolate.

I find in areas where they have grown out, it really obscures the buildings. Many of the rowhouse neighborhoods I like to go on scenic walks in, for example, have trees so grown out that except during the winter houses you cannot see the homes clearly at all. In extreme cases, the roads can become so leafy the street itself becomes dark.

Are street trees everywhere really needed? It's not as if street trees were part of the original typology here, and to some extent it feels like putting a suburban characteristic into an urban area, particularly once the tree gets big enough that it rivals the size of the house. City houses were often meant to be on public display to the street - that's why they aren't recessed far back on properties.

Thoughts?
Unfortunately there is not nearly enough streets like that. If you go one block away from that location in any direction the street trees are woefully inadequate to nonexistent. 50 to 80 years ago people planted way more trees then they do today.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, PA (Morningside)
12,414 posts, read 11,910,584 times
Reputation: 10533
Quote:
Originally Posted by KaaBoom View Post
Unfortunately there is not nearly enough streets like that. If you go one block away from that location in any direction the street trees are woefully inadequate to nonexistent. 50 to 80 years ago people planted way more trees then they do today.
Beech Avenue is one of the first areas of the Northside of Pittsburgh which gentrified, so it got the jump on most of the rest of the city regarding planting and growing out. Other areas have many trees now, but they're usually half the size or smaller.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:31 PM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,095,690 times
Reputation: 3117
Interestingly, the now-gentrified areas of SE Baltimore were so barren that the displaced residents who now live in my very leafy residential neighborhood are not keen on tree debris. It is foreign and unwelcome to them. Luckily they are not as loud as those of us who like the trees

Last edited by HandsUpThumbsDown; 04-05-2013 at 08:47 PM..
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
7,142 posts, read 8,872,641 times
Reputation: 7732
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschaton View Post
People really seem to be misinterpreting my original post.

My point is street trees are used as a one-sized fits all solution for every urban street. While they do improve the look of virtually every street while they are small, as they grow out they can really begin to obscure the streetscape, and eventually make the street into a cavelike area if a closed canopy develops (which really only happens when they don't need to be trimmed for power lines).
Thats the point of canopy trees. To create a canopy over the street. Unfortunately it never usually gets to that point because the damn utility companies or other people cut them down.

Why would anyone hate trees? I don't get it. Trees are beautiful, and more important, they are the source of all life.
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