Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tree Requirement for Development

This week I took a few more samples in my experiment of temp differences between area strip malls and treed neighborhoods. By far, Altoona which was built in the 70's and has tons of trees beats every shopping area by 5+ degrees or more. The smallest difference was 3 degrees and that was a day with a few clouds, but the temp was 95+. These differences become more apparent as the temps cross 90. I don't really think to check the gauge on days when it's cooler. I expect an overcast day like today with a temp around 87F, we probably wouldn't see much difference.

When are governments going to get real about creating a healthy place to live? Endless expanses of parking lots might signal good retail income. However, if that same parking lot is shaded by adequate tree cover, it not only helps to replace trees removed by development, it will help lower temps in these hot spots. Virginia Tech cooperative extension has even done research on which trees are good choices for parking.


kcw said...

And residential development as well. I hate the new way of clear cutting an entire area to build a house farm. I'm so happy I didn't buy one of those. They need to be pushed to either plant new ones (of mature and young age) or leave some of the big ones in.

Bryan said...

I completely agree with you there. So far I've owned 2 homes in wooded areas, and a townhome built in a field (that was a field prior to development). Low Impact Development was a regular topic for Mary Katherine Greenlaw when she was on the Planning Commission. Hopefully we'll see more of those ideas.

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