Affordable housing needed, but also trees
We agree there is an urgent need for affordable housing in Victoria. However, who would find the planned townhouses affordable? Left out of the equation is the urgent need to retain mature trees, like the 24 to be removed from that site.
Recent news reports that increased greenhouse gases being released from quickly melting Arctic permafrost were not included in calculations of how quickly the planet is warming. So we have less than 10 years to take the “drastic actions” urged by the hundreds of scientists involved in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendations.
One of the best-regarded ways to fight climate change is to retain large trees and forests. Big trees sequester far more carbon than saplings. And they’re doing it now, when we need it most. Planting trees is also excellent, but won’t help soon enough. Trees take decades to get big.
Well-treed lots like 902 Foul Bay Rd. help sequester carbon, keep us cooler as temperatures rise, prevent flooding through storm water mitigation, and clean pollutants including smoke from the air.
We are also learning more about how much trees benefit people’s mental and physical health, and reduce stress levels.
One study showed people had worse health after local trees were removed. Throughout the pandemic, many have renewed appreciation of these benefits.
Trees are so necessary that we should require developers to design buildings around them. It is time to start planning “smart density,” that leaves our mature trees to keep sequestering carbon.
Jan Firstbrook, Janet Simpson, Frances Litman, Carolina Ashe and Grace Golightly, on behalf of Community Trees Matter Network Duncan