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The Politics of Street Trees

Author/EditorWoudstra, Jan (Author)
Allen, Camilla (Author)
ISBN: 9780367516284
Pub Date18/03/2022
BindingPaperback
Pages432
Dimensions (mm)254(h) * 178(w)
This book focuses on the politics of street trees and the institutions, actors and processes that govern their planning, planting and maintenance, revealing a huge amount about the nature of modern life, social change and political conflict which is particularly important in the context of mounting environmental and societal challenges.
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This book focuses on the politics of street trees and the institutions, actors and processes that govern their planning, planting and maintenance. This is an innovative approach which is particularly important in the context of mounting environmental and societal challenges and reveals a huge amount about the nature of modern life, of social change and political conflict.


The work first provides different historical perspectives on street trees and politics, celebrating diversity in different cultures. A second section discusses street tree values, policy and management, addressing more contemporary issues of their significance and contribution to our environment, both physically and philosophically. It explores cultural idiosyncrasies and those from the point of view of political economy, particularly challenging the neo-liberal perspectives that continue to dominate political narratives. The final section provides case studies of community engagement, civil action, and governance. International case studies bring together contrasting approaches in areas with diverging political directions or intentions, the constraints of laws and the importance of people power.


By pursuing an interdisciplinary approach this book produces an information base for academics, practitioners, politicians and activists alike, thus contributing to a fairer political debate that helps to promote more democratic environments that are sustainable, equitable, comfortable, and healthier.

This book focuses on the politics of street trees and the institutions, actors and processes that govern their planning, planting and maintenance. This is an innovative approach which is particularly important in the context of mounting environmental and societal challenges and reveals a huge amount about the nature of modern life, of social change and political conflict.


The work first provides different historical perspectives on street trees and politics, celebrating diversity in different cultures. A second section discusses street tree values, policy and management, addressing more contemporary issues of their significance and contribution to our environment, both physically and philosophically. It explores cultural idiosyncrasies and those from the point of view of political economy, particularly challenging the neo-liberal perspectives that continue to dominate political narratives. The final section provides case studies of community engagement, civil action, and governance. International case studies bring together contrasting approaches in areas with diverging political directions or intentions, the constraints of laws and the importance of people power.


By pursuing an interdisciplinary approach this book produces an information base for academics, practitioners, politicians and activists alike, thus contributing to a fairer political debate that helps to promote more democratic environments that are sustainable, equitable, comfortable, and healthier.

Jan Woudstra trained in landscape architecture and horticulture in the Netherlands and at Kew and completed an MA at the University of York, at the Institute of Advanced Architectural Studies. His PhD at University College London looked at modernism in twentieth-century landscape design. After having worked in private practice with much tree-related business, he joined the Department of Landscape at the University of Sheffield, where he is a Reader in Landscape History and Theory. He has published widely, including: Jan Woudstra and Colin Roth (eds), A History of Groves (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2018), and Jonathan Finch and Jan Woudstra, Capability Brown, Royal Gardener: The Business of Place-making in Northern Europe (2020). Camilla Allen is a landscape architect and environmental historian. She completed her doctorate, 'The Making of the Man of the Trees', in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, on the forester and conservationist Richard St. Barbe Baker (1889-1982). Her research focuses upon the relationship we have with the natural world which she explores through particular places, people and events like Britain's three tree cathedrals, the designation of special groves within California's coast redwood forest, and the commemorative planting of trees in Sheffield during and after the Great War.

Part one: Historic perspectives on street trees and politics 1. The 'Right to Plant': roadside tree planting in The Netherlands Jan Woudstra 2. 'Trees even in their very roads': mid seventeenth-century English perspectives on trees, streets, and politics Felicity Stout 3. Green lines of power? The Apprentice Boys' trees and the walls of Derry/Londonderry Finola O'Kane 4. Progress and economics: planting roadside fruit trees in German regions in the 18th and 19th centuries Sylvia Butenschoen and Thomas Thranert 5. Sylvan strife: tree conflicts in Victorian and Edwardian towns Paul A. Elliott 6. Drivers of street tree species selection: the case of London planetrees in Philadelphia Lara A. Roman and Theodore S. Eisenman 7. A 'silent' activist for trees: the life and legacy of Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel in Mysore, India Gert Groening 8. A broken covenant: the creation and desecration of Sheffield's living memorials Camilla Allen 9. Roads of modernisation: street tree planting in the Republic of China (1911-1949) Yishi Liu and Jan Woudstra 10. Japanese cherry pride on foreign ground Wybe Kuitert Part two: Street tree values, policy, and management 11. Highway tree policies and management: an historical perspective of ownership and responsibility Jan Woudstra and Camilla Allen 12. Street trees matter, so what's the matter with street trees? How the ecosystem services and disservices of street trees can and should influence attitudes Ross Cameron 13. Emerging challenges and developments with respect to street trees in compact cities Kai Wang, Jian Hang and Julian C.R. Hunt 14. The opportunity to interact with the urban forest is a human right Alan Simson 15. What street trees mean: memory, beauty, hospitality John Miller 16. Climate change, forest fires, and evolving street tree policies in Porto, Portugal Claudia Fernandes, Catarina Teixeira and Isabel Martinho da Silva 17. The political economy of street trees John Henneberry and Philip Catney 18. The economics of street trees - Why we so often can't see the wood for the trees Philip B. Whyman 19. Roadside trees and traffic safety policies Jan Woudstra 20. Streets Ahead or the Road to Hell? Analysing street tree strategies in the UK Nicola Dempsey Part three: Community engagement, civic action, and governance 21. Legal responsibility for street trees Charles Mynors 22. Occupying public space, generating public spheres: street tree art and activism in East and West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s Sonja Dumpelmann 23. The legacy of colonial and arpartheid eras on the distribution, composition and representation of street trees in South Africa Charlie Shackleton, Nanamhla Gwedla and Elandrie Davoren 24. Against all odds: making the case for trees in Bogota, Colombia German Tovar Corzo and Sylvie Nail 25. Legal protection of street trees in Israel: Actors, process, and enforcement Yifat Holzman-Gazit 26. Tracing the socio-political dynamics of street tree contestation in the twenty-first century through the Sheffield case-study Ian D. Rotherham and Matthew Flinders 27. Tree/House/Street: site lines as fight lines Fionn Stevenson 28. Why green practitioners need to learn more about engineering and get political! Russell Horsey 29. Conclusions Jan Woudstra and Camilla Allen

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