Through our PROGRAMS of Planning, Implementation and Maintenance, we plan to undertake many greening projects.
Urban forests play many different roles in fostering sustainability and quality of life in cities. They improve air and water quality, provide shade from harmful UV rays and help mitigate the impact of urban heat islands. All this is in addition to the aesthetic benefits that a lush and healthy urban canopy provides. A healthy tree canopy is increasingly indicative of a healthy urban neighborhood.
Community members themselves play an enormous role in the continuing growth and stewardship of the Industrial District urban forest. Trees bring people together! Every time a local resident attends a tree planting, speaks to others about the importance of trees or becomes actively involved in advocating for more trees or green space, decision-makers take note.
Volunteers at an IDG tree planting along Omar St. in April 2013 (Photo: Chuck Hashbarger)
LA's industrial districts continue to evolve into hybrid mixed-use districts with the addition of new residents and businesses. But the relentless hardscapes of these neighborhoods are lacking in quality of life amenities that more conventional residential neighborhoods offer. LA's Industrial Districts would thus benefit disproportionately from greening efforts.
Urban forestry entails identifying the optimal species for a given location i.e. climate, soil conditions, built environment, etc. Once the minimal costs of planting and maintaining for 5 years are covered, trees can yield decades (if not centuries) of benefits.
As the Los Angeles Artists and Business Association ("LARABA") has successfully demonstrated in the Arts District, by supporting greening and public art programs, modest quality of life investments in the neighborhood can yield sizable and immediate benefits. These benefits also accrue with time (especially tree planting projects that take years to reach maturity).
In addition to tree planting, greening can be pursued through a variety of other means including various vegetation projects such as public and private gardens, stormwater management projects, supplemental ground-cover, hanging baskets (see below) & green walls. The wide availability of species suitable to the local climate makes any non-paved surface a candidate for greening.
Greening in LA's industrial districts pose some challenges not found with more conventional greening projects. Certain pockets with larger street-dwelling homeless populations can require special measures and community buy-in to protect and nurture flora to maturity. In such areas, tree plantings, for example, may attract vandalism and thus heavy duty tree guards (see below) may be required to protect a tree until it can become established.