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The Giving Tree

Author MIC Team

Becoming a “smart” city is not only about innovative technology. Sometimes it’s the simplest things, the things that you are so used to seeing that you don’t pay them any attention, like plants and trees. But make no mistake – they are very, very important.

No matter what city you live in, or visit, wherever you walk, whether it’s on the way to work, shopping or just to see friends, you will always see trees and greenery along your path in one form or another. It’s not just because the mayor is a green enthusiast, although that’s also possible! The truth is that it is an effective, and simple method of contributing to an economic, social ,and environmental city. A green environment encourages people to walk rather than drive, which moderates the temperature, helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, as well as improving the personal well-being of residents and more.

An End to the Global Warming Heatwave

Well, no, the heatwave isn’t over, and we have not yet solved the problem of global warming, but trees certainly have a significant effect on the temperature around them, so in cities suffering from extreme heat, it is advisable to incorporate tree planting as part of planning in urban spaces. Trees reduce the temperature around them by an average of 2–5 degrees Celsius. This is a very significant difference, especially in a hot country like Israel ,and all the more so during the global warming crisis in which we live. Ficus trees, for example, are highly recommended for this purpose and they can lower the temperature around them by up to 5.5 degrees.

Have a Nice Trip

Another advantage of trees in the urban space is that it leads to a preference for public transport over traveling by private car. How? The truth is that this solution is very simple! Trees in the vicinity of a bus-stop, for example, will provide a wider shade area than the shading of the bus stop itself. This shade offers a cooling environment for those waiting at the bus stop, by reducing the sun-rays and also reducing heat release from surfaces near the bus stop. The result effects on the willingness of residents to use public transportation, walk, and cycle. Of course, trees are not the only factor, and many other aspects are needed to ensure the success of public transport in the city, but that’s a different matter.

Take a Deep Breath

Take a deep breath before you continue reading. How does the air feel? Fresh and clean? We want to remind you that trees purify the air. How do they do that? Trees don’t reduce the amount of pollution that is emitted, but they can absorb air pollution and emit oxygen instead, thus cleansing the air that the residents breathe. It is no secret that air pollution has a huge impact on our health, so addressing it offers a significant benefit in maintaining public health. In addition, let’s not forget the dangers of exposure to solar radiation, which is also reduced by trees planted in urban spaces.

And what about financial benefits? The three issues we have raised so far are just some of the advantages of using trees in urban spaces, and if you put them all together, the result is financial gain. How? Think about the household energy savings due to shade, the impact on air and water quality in the city, the increase in house value. If that’s not enough, trees also boost domestic and foreign tourism, and once you’ve brought in the tourists, then what about shopping? – Studies show that consumers are willing to pay between 9% and 12% more in stores on streets where there are trees.

Well, what do you think? It’s worthwhile, isn’t it?