Urban trees should be regarded as national asset
Across Canada, towns and cities face a one-two punch: aging infrastructure and the extreme weather climate change brings. Unless we do something, many of our roads, railways, transit lines, bridges, stormwater pipes and other built structures could become obsolete.
Our newly elected federal government took up the challenge with a campaign pledge to double infrastructure investments from $65 billion to nearly $125 billion over the next 10 years. Ontario has committed to spending $130 billion over the same time period, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has also promised a hefty infrastructure stimulus package.
While these political commitments are long overdue, we shouldn’t lose sight of less-expensive and longer-lasting solutions to many of our infrastructure needs, like planting trees in urban areas for stormwater management and other services.
Healthy street trees can lengthen the lifespan of built infrastructure like roads and sidewalks by shading them and reducing effects of weathering, and they provide significant human health benefits.
11/18/2015 by David Suzuki in the Chronicle Herald.