Trees are a source of natural beauty but they can also provide useful shade and amenity in our urban centres. Visitors to Wakefield have often remarked how many trees there are in the centre of Wakefield but do we have enough of them and should we try to plant even more? In the 1960s and 70s, the Society planted over 1,000 trees in and around the city and many of these still survive. The Emerald Ring – the tree-lined boulevard that will skirt the city – is part of the vision for Wakefield first put forward under the Urban Renaissance programme over a decade ago and some new trees have been introduced in recent years as part of that vision.
The 21st century is the century of the city, and the world is continuing to urbanise at an alarming rate, even in the UK. The quality of urban life however is not improving at the same rate; indeed, Professor Simpson argues, it is measurably deteriorating.
This talk will focus upon the proven benefits that trees can bring to the health and well-being of urban areas – economic, social, environmental and cultural benefits, and why trees are now deemed to be crucial to developing successful urbanism.
Professor Alan Simson is Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry at Leeds Beckett University, where he is involved in research, teaching, and consultancy on urban forestry, landscape urbanism and landscape architecture in the UK, the EU and on the international stage.
Professor Simson is a Chartered Landscape Architect and Urban Forester. He has gained extensive professional experience in the UK New Towns, private practice and higher education. Currently, he is a Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry at Leeds Beckett University, involved in research, trans-disciplinary teaching and consultancy on adaptive / landscape urbanism, urban forestry and green infrastructure. He has published widely, mostly in Europe.
He has led several European urban forestry research projects on behalf of the UK and is involved in a number of international and regional initiatives and activities.
This is a free event open to all.