Vanessa Lastrucci, Landscape Architect, Urban Movement
Climate change has recently made its way back to the public debate, hitting the media as hard as its effects soon will on our environments and our lives.
Much thinking and funding today goes into developing unprecedented technologies that are able to capture CO2from the atmosphere, return clean air, arrest the warming and enable us to carry on our lives pretty much as usual. Not the same amount of thinking is given to the carbon footprint that such technologies might have; and any technology that has a consistent carbon footprint cannot be of help in facing our unprecedented challenge.
We have already available an amazing technology that captures CO2 from the atmosphere, gives back oxygen and much much more. This technology is called a tree.
The planting of trees is the most effective measure to halt the warming of our planet. Of course, we need huge masses of them, but we can start to fill the spaces in our cities: it seems to be most effective in areas that suffer from pollution, like London. Here, the Mayor has committed to protecting and increasing public spaces and providing funding to help planting, not just trees but all green life, as a tool to maintain and in the long term enhance biodiversity in London.
In a place and moment that rightly celebrates the diversity of the people of the city, that wants to be inclusive and works towards more gender equality and intergenerational equality, the diversity of green life is as important as the others. Inclusivity also means multi-species equality. It means accommodating the life of other-than-human beings in urban spaces - the plants and animals that find their homes and shelters in here. It means designing spaces where these living things are welcomed and safe.
It means for us - the urban people - to feel a little less separated from the other living beings with which we share the world.