I am happy to see the pro-development folks tone it down a bit on the build-new-units-at-all-costs position. Yes, we have many unhoused individuals AND the planet is heating/our local ecosystems are straining to support too many over consuming humans. Let’s think big picture.
Trees are essential, but are a renewable source. It’s ok to chop down trees. However, the city could make a policy to require developers to replant trees for every tree they cut down. Hint hint: the industrial zones could use some trees.
Trees are important, but my belief is that they are most important as part of natural habitat. Infill projects in the city may tear down urban trees, but they can preserve agricultural or woodland area in the suburbs. If we can cut down two trees in a city lot in Ballard for six townhomes instead of clearing 1.5 acres in a wooded area near Black Diamond I think it's a huge win for the planet.
@3 Ever hear of urban heat islands and how they affect climate change?
Turning one tree filled Ballard lot into four outrageously expensive townhomes does nothing to make housing more affordable. But it does eliminate habitats for birds and contributes to climate driven heat domes over the PNW. Multiply that by the hundreds of green lots leveled for million dollar townhomes and you’ve got some pretty brutal summers in store.
But hey thanks for admitting you’re a Progressive Seattle Urbanist who doesn’t give a fuck about the environment or climate change.
This is great to see. True fact: Seattle and Barcelona have the same tree canopy goals - 30% by 2030. But Barcelona is more than four times as dense as Seattle, and by extension - largely driven by transportation - half the CO2 emissions per capita. It is clearly possible to do much, much better bringing our transportation emissions down through density and to hit - or, I hope - massively exceed our tree canopy goals.
Bravo, Laura Loe and Joshua Morris! Let's do this not just throughout Seattle, but throughout Washington State, as well. Old growth tree protections are needed, particularly in the Western part of our state.
Eastern Washington (i.e., the Columbia Gorge, Grand Coulee Dam, and much of Douglas County for examples) is mostly treeless. I am wondering if planting trees would be equally beneficial to our neighbors east of the Cascades, as well, although the climate is drier and hotter in the summer.
The development industry (and their choros of "urbanists") have pushed a decades-long promise of density with relaxed zoning and the removal of development restrictions (such as tree preservation, design review and no-parking requirements) in order to yield a wealth of affordable housing stock in a healthy, livable city.
The conversation is muddied with false dichotomies such as @3's moronic "down two trees in a city lot in Ballard for six townhomes instead of clearing 1.5 acres in a wooded area near Black Diamond", as if cutting down Seattle's trees is the only option.
How's all that workin' out so far in stopping sprawl and delivering housing for the working and lower classes?
Hint: It isn't, and developers are laughing all the way to the bank.
In the meantime Seattle's tree canopy shrinks, and now the new "urbanist" mantra (cf @2) of "it's ok to chop down trees", or false comparisons such as @5's Barcelona name-drop (where the centuries old city's densest areas were built a hundred years before the automobile ascended as primary transport, and the bulk of the population growth since the 1950s has been in its sprawling metro area) dominate the newest chorus of cutting down the urban forest is ok and unfettered density is ok 'cause its done elsewhere to great success.
If urbanists really want to show urban forest bonafides they would advocate for a 30% tree canopy goal for Seattle in the Comprehensive Plan update currently underway -- matching the goals of the tree advocates AND the city of Barcelona.
@10 yeah, and that's Biden's fault too
Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.