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sweetplantveal t1_j6quw0e wrote

Trees make a place livable. I think we should be investing in urban forestry.


bn1979 t1_j6s6uts wrote

They make such a huge difference. I’m in Minneapolis and aside from the most urban areas, we have nice large trees everywhere except for the new developments.

I hate seeing new developments where they just completely destroy the landscape and then plant stupid little trees that only grow to 10-15’ high.


electrogourd t1_j6u28a3 wrote

Glad someone beat me to a Twin Cities comment! Grew up in rural Wisconsin, didn't see myself in a city.

But i am not minding St Paul. I ride my motorcycle past 3 lakes and half under tree cover on my 10 minute commute. Every section of developed space is broken up by trees and/or lakes. Its quite lovely, despite the population density.


bn1979 t1_j6ueg20 wrote

It really is. I’m in a first ring suburb and you can barely see my house on google earth because of the tree cover.

I spent 2 years in Seoul after living in rural northern WI and the UP. I missed the trees, clean water, and open spaces so much.


mybrainisgoneagain t1_j6t2s2p wrote

They have to have small trees so when they fall they don't smash the house.


RagnarokDel t1_j6rlh5j wrote

green roofs are a good way forward too. We could go full on r/fuckcars but in the US or Canada, it might as well be asking for a miracle.


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6s2tc4 wrote

Eh, green roofs are usually realllllly heavy and require much bigger foundations. Better to limit building to tree-canopy height and get the vegetation benefits from overhang canopy.


Wonderful_Mud_420 t1_j6s59mo wrote

Yeah the whole point of a roof is to keep the elements away from the house. Adding tons of soils and vegetation and watering it everyday is just asking for trouble, specially if you cheaped out on the installation.


Spitinthacoola t1_j6tanax wrote

Most green roofs don't require tons of soil and watering vegetation. They're usually pretty thin layers of media and root barriers for grasses and other native plants to live, they're called extensive green roofs.

Intensive green roofs usually don't cover the whole thing, and have deeper layers and larger plants. They're much less common.


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6tn2k1 wrote

The intensive ones are awesome to see, but not practical. Thd extensive ones won't have near the impact on local temperature of trees.


Spitinthacoola t1_j6u06x2 wrote

It might not be better than painting all the roofs white for heat but they'd still do better than shingles or solar panels. A combination of that for the roofs and trees, especially native where possible, would not just impact local temps but also fauna.


MajinBuuMan t1_j6shf07 wrote

I hate going up on to my roof too. So many things could go wrong with a setup like that. Screw that noise. I want a low maintenance roof.


YouJustSaidButFuck t1_j6s9bn3 wrote

Limiting buildings to tree canopy height cements the housing crisis. We need high density housing.

It's a bad situation to be in. Every where you look there's pain.


TalkativeVoyeur t1_j6sdkfp wrote

We really should't get too hand up on this. Street trees apply almost anywhere. And green roofs are fine but just the trees outside to cover the asphalt is already a massive improvement. Trees and some green roofs where possible is totally doable and a massive improvement. Looking for a perfect solution is a great way to do nothing


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6s9vuy wrote

There’s way more untapped vertical space in single-family neighborhoods in desirable cities even below five stories than there is housing demand. NYC might be the one exception but even there the surrounding suburbs have a lot of potential. We need high-density housing but we really don’t need buildings above 80 feet tall to achieve it except maybe in NYC.

The climate benefits of building height max out between 5-10 stories anyway.


YouJustSaidButFuck t1_j6sa2fi wrote

Urban sprawl is HORRIBLE for climate.

Suburbs are a major problem


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6saol3 wrote

Of course. But you could immediately halt all exurban development and also provide plenty housing to ease the housing shortage if we just upzone inner-ring suburbs to medium-sized multifamily buildings.


histosol t1_j6ujylw wrote

building up is more expensive, plus people kinda want their own 4 walls.


real_bk3k t1_j6sulk1 wrote

Cars will never go away in places where everything is far apart. Mass transit can be great for cities, but becomes less practical outside them.


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6t57kx wrote

Cities should be denser


real_bk3k t1_j6t9922 wrote

Sure. That doesn't solve the issue that so many people live outside cities. Even if you pretend they don't exist, their carbon emissions (including their cars) won't disappear.


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6tbikj wrote

It solves the problem that people in cities have too-high emissions because our infrastructure has made them reliant on cars.

“Your proposal won’t fix anything, so we shouldn’t do it” is the argument on the side that doesn’t have arguments that are actually good.


real_bk3k t1_j6uc57k wrote

You are not actually arguing against what I said though. But if that's what you want to do, go ahead and reply to my comment however you please. You aren't even alone in that.


RagnarokDel t1_j6ue3h0 wrote

it wasnt a real proposition because it will never happen.


real_bk3k t1_j6v04zw wrote

It's a problem in that some people imagine this is a real solution. I'm afraid we need real solutions to real problems, and Climate Change is a very real, very serious problem.


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6tl1h1 wrote

The problem with green roofs is cost and potential failure. It's actually very difficult to seal them, and when a leak does show up, it's difficult to fix. Trees tend to also be absolutely excellent at breaking through even concrete, so planting trees on roofs is asking for a problem.

Green medians can be a much more cost effective way to green up a city. Small rooftop gardens with potted plants or shallow beds with shallow rooted plants could help.

I would love to see 80' tall sycamores and maples on top of skyscrapers, but i don't think it's practical.


RagnarokDel t1_j6ue03a wrote

> Green medians can be a much more cost effective way to green up a city.

ah yes, patches of grass. the worst possible greening you can do.


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6ukka9 wrote

That's not what I'm referring to. Trees and brush in the median. Think Tuscon AZ, not Beverly Hills.


Jr05s t1_j6sv5i4 wrote

Can't even get home owners to take care of benefitial green spaces on the ground, they aren't going to be able to do it on their roofs.


DrMobius0 t1_j6t0moy wrote

Yeah it's probably not realistic without an unimaginably robust nation-wide public transit system


dougxiii t1_j6qwo8f wrote

I think we should start moving underground, not totally but enough to free up space for the earth to grow.


Arturiki t1_j6qz4t1 wrote

I like windows, so please no.


souvlaki_ t1_j6r9ua3 wrote

I promise you that Linux is a fine alternative.


smurficus103 t1_j6rfcbl wrote

Yeah! Emulated windows are just as good as the real thing!


isny t1_j6ro5ny wrote

Wine is not an emulator.


Kwetla t1_j6s549l wrote

But drink enough of it and you can forget about not having windows!


vibesWithTrash t1_j6sq1kc wrote

i think it would be fine for industry and workplaces where you barely see sunlight anyway, but for mental health reasons building housing underground is a terrible idea yeah


Arturiki t1_j6w0omk wrote

Bufff please no. Working with no external view is an immense toll (at least on me and people I know).


randomusername8472 t1_j6rlxem wrote

It's always worth pointing out that 80% of humanities land use is purely for growing food for, and rearing, livestock. This only produces about 20% of humanities food.

There's plenty of room for people :) it's the 60 billion odd animals (especially the cows and other mammals!) that are the problem.

If people treated red meat and dairy like a luxury, (say, reduced consumption to once every two weeks) it would more than half humanities land use! It would also be cheaper, and better for their health so they'd live longer with a higher quality of love.


Pantssassin t1_j6s9035 wrote

I think you misspoke, "purely for growing food and rearing livestock" includes both growing human food and livestock feed when I think you only meant growing livestock feed.


randomusername8472 t1_j6shfxh wrote

You are correct, I meant to say growing food for livestock and rearing livestock. Basically, 80% of land is to make meat and dairy and it only produces 20% of our food. The other 20% of our land use is for plants, and that produces 80% of our food.

All other human land use is about 1% of habitable land - a rounding error compared to farming


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6tqp5c wrote

I think you're making an error in the implied assumption that the aforementioned land is all equal. It isn't. For example, there's a county of roughly 10000 square miles in southeastern oregon that has arouns 7000 people in it. It's got a little bit of protected area, but the VAST majority of it is cattle rangeland interspersed with hay/alfalfa fields. There's occasionally other crops, but not much. There's a lot of meat coming out of that country, but it's not dense. Every cow needs a massive amount of space to graze enough to slaughter, but that's because there's just not much out there. There's not enough water to sustainably grow food crops, but a cow can wander a few miles a day munching on bunch grasses and be fat and happy.

Additionally, a lot of rangeland is far closer to wild than farmland. Cattle are grazed on huge swaths of BLM land in the western US, that is essentially just wild land. To convert even 20% of that to any other use would be a massive ecological disaster. And the cows do some damage, too, but nothing like clearing forest and planting crops.

This use would DRASTICALLY affect any such statistics like the one you're quoting. Meat production on factory farms fed by monoculture feed crop field have their own problems, but they are far more space efficient than the story your numbers paint.


randomusername8472 t1_j6u53jk wrote

I think you are making the mistake of taking one biome that has cows in and which cows aren't the worst option, and assuming all biomes are like that. What percentage of the world's agricultural land is what you describe?

I'm talking about things like deforested tropical and temperate forest/rainforest. Like, the Amazon isn't being cleared just for kicks. England isn't kept as rolling green fields just for the postcards (and has a similar thing to the US cattle with sheep, which are relatively self sustaining and low impact suited to a lot of the UKs more rugged areas, like for cows how you describe).

I'd agree that animals raised in ways like that aren't the worst. But there's 1.5billion cows in the world and most of them are gorged on high calorie food grown on fertilised fields that would have been - if not for human intervention - something completely different.

(Plus, if you want to live off food like that, you basically have to become a vegan on steroids with how rigourously you study ingredients. Vegans can just look at a packet of chips and be like "damn, it's got milk in, guess I'll get a different brand". People who only want to eat meat from natural farming processes have to either reach the same conclusion, or go on a lengthy research journey to try and figure out if Lays use milk they find acceptable - which inevitably they don't. Sorry for the tangent!)


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6u7tzy wrote

I'm not making that mistake at all. I'll pointing out that a huge percent of the Western US is considered "used for cows", even though there's only a few cows per square mile, and the cow's use of that land is pretty low impact.

If you lump that in with factory farms where even considering the area required for feed, you're getting multiple cows per acre, you end up with a drastically skewed statistic where the average land use per cow is very different from the median land use per cow.

And since the vast majority of our meat comes from factory farms (I'm seeing 99%, but that's not just beef), the median land use is far more important. So, if you include the few hundred thousand square miles of rangeland with barely any cows on it, you think every cow we don't raise frees up like 4.6 acres that can go towards something else. But in reality, if we don't raise one median cow it only frees up a couple hundred square feet.

Do you see how the statistic is skewed? I've been around feed lots and live in agricultural areas. I see feed crops. I also live near rangeland. A simple statistic of "percentage of human land use" doesn't really tell any of that story with any degree of accuracy.


randomusername8472 t1_j6ueaqp wrote

I mean, we're from completely different parts of the world so I get we are coming from different view points. But the key factor I'm considering is that cows need a certain amount of calories. Those calories either come from low density area (like you describe) or high density crop.

I guess I should have said how much of the world's beef comes from low density crop lands in the USA?

And another thing I'd wonder about, do those cattle live entirely off the land? In the UK we have "grass fed" cows, which are premium and reared entirely off the land, but they require huge amounts of land in order to have enough food available to them, plus higher calory supplements to actually put on weight. So unless you actually know a small hold farmer, in Europe, any meat/dairy you get is from "unnatural" means, with cows being reared more intensively than the land would allow. That intensity comes from other land, elsewhere, being used as well. I know the same applies in Australia and much of South Africa, but I can't comment on the Western US.

And, to be fair, I haven't focused on land use exclucively. My point was that we are actively destroying many biomes in order to produce food for livestock. If we stopped eating as much meat and dairy (reduce it to the recommended amounts medically, in the US and Europe) that would take off a huge amount of pressure from biomes we are destroying.

To go back to my original point, if people treated meat and dairy like a luxury, that would probably just leave cows in the habitats you describe (although that's just a wild guess)


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6ukfnf wrote

If you're coming from europe, i can understand how it's hard to wrap your head around the type of land in the western US, because there's isn't really the same type of thing anywhere in Europe to my knowledge.

Just the Bureau of Land Management handles around the area of one tenth of all of Europe (around 1 million km²). That's public land, no one lives on it. Almost all of it is used as grazing land to some extent. It's not really used otherwise except for recreation. That doesn't include national parks and national forests which are also commonly grazed in part. It doesn't include huge ranches that aren't factory farms. It doesn't include small farms and landowners that rent out fallow fields to cattle ranchers.

And the yield of that land is extremely variable. My 3.4 acres are listed among the highest potential yield crop land I've seen at well over 100 bushels per acre of most common crops. 10 miles north of me there's rolling hills of pasture land that probably could yield 25-40 bushels per acre if you could farm it. 100 miles southwest of me, your crops are probably just going to fail, but cows can scratch together enough food to gain weight for 11 months of the year.

So, factory farms put feed lots on land like that to the southwest of me and then buy feed from my neighbors here in the extremely fertile area. They can actually have 100 cows per acre. The ranchers to the north of me are probably running 1 cow per acre. Any ranchers to the southwest doing grazing are probably more like 5 acres per cow.

The factory farm needs crop land, and i can't find the actual calories per acre for just grass hay, but wheat is significantly more calorically dense and that's around 6.4 million Calories per acre. Corn is 12+ million, and that's for human consumption, but cows eat the stalks, too. So, i think a reasonable estimate would say a feed crop produces perhaps 3x the calories per acre of grassland on the low end and upwards of 10x at the top end.

So, ranching cows on pretty decent grassland is 1 acre per cow. Factory farming requires 0.11-0.31 acres per cow (0.1-0.3 acres for feed, 0.01 acres for pen space, plus a tiny bit for waste control). And the worse the land yield is the more acres you need. Factory farms exist for a reason: they're cheap and efficient.

But ALL that land is weighted the same in your narrative. It isn't the same at all. Factory farms and cropland is essentially worthless to wild animals. Rangeland is some animals primary habitat.

Monoculture crops can actually be much more damaging to the environment than rangeland raised meat, even when you account for the area required per calorie.


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6u8hk6 wrote

Oh, and as for your tangent, it's easier to know what you're eating if you can get a ways out of the city. Most of our eggs come from our chickens, we can easily get beef and pork from people that we know and can go see the animals in the fields. Hell, i can get the ear tag of the cow i put in my freezer if i want.


randomusername8472 t1_j6uehkx wrote

I think this is very country dependant :) I live in the countryside of Nottinghamshire in the UK, and UK countryside is very different from US countriside!

More crowded, for a start!


Fearlessleader85 t1_j6ufefz wrote

Without a doubt, but if you know a danger, you can probably buy a part of a cow.


cittatva t1_j6rd67v wrote

Do you want mole people? Because this is how you get mole people.


DrMobius0 t1_j6t0gcz wrote

A few years back, my family and I visited an amusement park that had a ton of trees around providing shade. The day itself was in the 90s, but it felt perfectly comfortable in the park. Widespread shade is no joke.


Hour-Watch8988 t1_j6s03hg wrote

Yeah but can trees also provide food and medicine, manage stormwater runoff, create beautiful flowers, and provide habitat for native fauna?




EcoloFrenchieDubstep t1_j6tzegv wrote

Oh and what about enriching soils by fixing nitrogen and stabilizing soil erosion from water and air like providing wind cover for crops? Surely they can't do that.


machstem t1_j6upmpo wrote

I moved to a house with a green square for a backyard back in 2014.

It now has a 14 year old birch, a 2yr tulip tree, another 5yr tulip tree and a 7 year red oak tree.

All are native to the area and they started casting enough shade this summer, that my kids could actively play without being burned by the sun.

I'm the only neighbor for 100M who has native trees and most everyone else plants Norway maples which are good, fast growing trees though a little too big for my liking..

I will most likely be dead and buried by the time the oak and tulip trees canopy at over 50ft high and should shade most of the yard without being too low to kill the grass.

I also have been seeding my lawn with an eco friendly variety of grasses and white flower clover

We also naturalized the yard with native shrubbery as people forget that trees are good but shrubs and bushes help for things like soil saturation and animal/insect habitat

It takes a community for this sort of thing so I try and encourage people to do similar with their properties.

I call then butterfly alleys because they attract butterfly


alphaxion t1_j6uwzdh wrote

The other great aspect is if you have your tree aligned to provide shade for your windows during the hottest part of the day, it massively cuts down on the amount of heat getting into your home. This reduces the need for active cooling and makes getting to sleep at night far easier and more comfortable.


sweetplantveal t1_j6uva1a wrote

Sounds like a dream yard


machstem t1_j6wqi92 wrote

The home we had before had some issues but the property was surrounded in 50yr old trees+ and it canopied our yard.

We moved here and basically have been trying to add a small forest back in our yard


Bringbackdexter t1_j6sglj4 wrote

We also need policy to allow urban forestry to sustain, money tends to ruin these kind of movements.


myne t1_j74lmat wrote

I'm going to suggest vines.

Deciduous vines can be trained, pruned and intertwined to cover a roadway entirely with a lower footprint than a tree. Presumably there are vines that can reach at least 6m high.