TREES IN URBAN HABITAT by Hardial Singh Johl and Sarbjit Singh Bahga, published by White Falcon Publishing is a “ground breaking” book for town planners, architects, landscapists and city planners who face the enormous task of creating and planning cities, buildings, parks and open spaces in the face of challenging unprecedented urbanization. It is an encyclopedia of knowledge on methods and techniques to solve the intricate problems of urban planning with tree plantation. This book is an excellent reference guide that cites New Delhi and Chandigarh as examples of cities where tree plantation was a priority. The book offers valuable concepts of tree planting accompanied with photographs and illustrations to describe the appropriate use of trees in different urban settings. It provides a detailed description of the fundamental requirements of tree plantation around roads, buildings, open spaces and parks taking into account the important considerations pertaining to the structure and textures of trees, their density and diversity in growth patterns, scale, colour, form and detail. The book includes “lessons learnt” with insights into opportunities for improvement in future planning and development. The one chapter pertaining to the concept of developing the entire city into a park makes this book unique and creative.
Growing trees is the cheapest and one of the most effective methods for improving the physical environment. Trees are the most exquisite natural material for urban design. Most of our urban habitats have high densities of population, are treeless, bare and are facing alarming levels of pollution. It is necessary to take up a tree plantation programme at the national level. Trees purify dirty air, reduce dust, noise and create a healthy, livable environment.
This book highlights the fundamental requirements of carrying out plantation in a planned manner around roads, buildings, open spaces and parks etc. All over India, planned and designed urban growth is taking place at rapid pace and on a large scale. People desire attractive and functional trees on roads, in play areas, in work places and it can be created! That is what this book does, presents the concept of developing the entire city as a park.
Human artistry can improve by shaping the materials of the city including trees to create a better urban habitat. One can plan and grow trees not as decoration but as living building materials to create and reinforce urban spaces. This is achieved by planting trees as groups in the form of rows, groves and numerous architectural settings in accordance with the intrinsic nature and evolutionary requirements, not as scattered individual specimens.
At present carefully designed road sections and proper places for growing trees and installation of electric power lines are not being adopted even in the planned cities. This aspect is indispensable and has been explained in great detail in this book. The right kind of walkways along roads for pedestrian movement too is absolutely needed. This too has been dealt in this text.
This book also contains some of important trees suitable for planting around city roads, buildings, open spaces and parks. The salient features of these trees are described and demonstrated with photographs.
It is hoped that the approach of tree plantation as described in this book gets adopted in urban areas. That will produce wonderful results and will serve as a model for all present and future generations.
This study will be beneficial to town planners, architects, landscape architects, horticulturists, engineers and all other professionals and administrators engaged in the task of planning cities and plantations in urban areas.