Which trees are to be planted where within a city? What are the criteria used to make these decisions? How can tree selection be both economically efficient and ecologically beneficial? What makes urban green attractive for city residents, and how can it provide benefits to their health?
During the next decades, humanity will have to cope with climatic changes and increasing urbanisation. To facilitate urban planning in the face of these issues, we developed a software tool for the selection of trees in urban areas. The tool not only incorporates the characteristics particular to each tree species but also accounts for common planning practices, health issues (particularly in regard to air quality and allergy potential), and subjective assessments of city residents.
In the environmental psychology work package, we focused on the subjective perception and evaluation of urban green spaces. We examined the preferences which affect the acceptance of urban green spaces in general and single tree species in particular. In a first step, we identified which tree characteristics matter in human perception and how they influence preferences. In a next step, the mediating psychological variables were be investigated, resulting in a statistical model predicting tree preference. This model was then implemented the database.
The database is available at: citree.de
The citree project was an interdisciplinary collaboration conducted at the TU Dresden’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Technological Development (ZIT) in cooperation with colleagues from the Chair of Forest Botany and the Department Forest Biometry and Systems Analysis (both: Faculty of Environmental Science, TU Dresden).
- BBC News | Science & Environment: Database helps plant 'right tree for the right place' (15 November 2016)
- NZZ Format: Bäume zwischen Burnout und Beziehungsstress (2016, TV documentary for SRF and 3sat, in German)
The project was funded by the European Union and the Free State of Saxony (SAB project no. 100098207).
Photo credits: Bernd Gross, Bernd Gross