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Book chapter

Forests and Trees in the City: Southwest Flanders and the Mekong Delta

Throughout the history of urbanism, there has almost always been an interweaving of structures of plantation with urban armatures and tissues. In Europe and Asia, forests have been the counter-figure of the city, embedded the city or complemented the city. Simultaneously, lines of trees are planted on public spaces. This has been systematically planned and constructed. Mature trees are known to improve air quality by reducing pollutants, reduce or mitigate storm water-run off—through the interception of precipitation, the increase of rainwater infiltration into open soil under tree canopies, an increase of water storage capacity of soils through evapotranspiration and the reduced impact of rain and therefore less erosion and pollutant wash-off—sequester carbon and enhance native biodiversity. Today, the climate change card is being played strongly into policy matters worldwide and pressure is on for nations worldwide to increase forest cover and green in urban areas. This chapter will investigate such matter through the lens of design research case studies in Southwest Flanders and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.

Meulder, B.Shannon, K. 2014. 'Forests and Trees in the City: Southwest Flanders and the Mekong Delta'. In Revising Green Infrastructure: Concepts Between Nature and Design, Daniel Czechowski, Thomas Hauck, Georg Hausladen (eds.), ISBN 9781482232202.London: CRC Press