Blending Architecture with the Urban Forest

Blending Architecture
An urban forest provides a number of benefits, such as shading and cooling. This urban forest in Tampa, Florida provides a comfortable outdoor space for office employees and urban residents. Credit: Priya Jaishanker

Effectively blending elements of architecture and landscape architecture can provide numerous benefits to those who work or live in urban environments. Trees planted in outdoor areas provide a quiet, cool, and safe place in which people can enjoy their breaks from work. By selecting trees that are appropriate for the areas, such as palm trees in Florida, landscape architects can establish a firm sense of place to help visitors feel at home in their environment. When people in nearby office buildings look out their windows and see these trees and the animals that inhabit their canopies, the stress of their work environment can be relieved.

Properly implemented urban forests can offer more than just aesthetic benefits. Temperatures can decrease by up to 10 °F under tree canopies, and these trees can also shade nearby office buildings. This can reduce the need for air conditioning throughout the day which in turns reduces power costs and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from power plants. As the trees in an urban forest grow, they sequester carbon from the atmosphere, helping remedy the progress of global climate change.

Watch Blending Architecture with the Urban Forest to learn more. This video is part of a series, Trees for Energy Conservation, developed by the Southern Regional Extension Forestry and Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension with funding provided by a National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council grant.

Written by: Connor McDonanld, Southern Regional Extension Forestry