Planting trees in urban areas can have a cooling effect on the city by reducing the surrounding temperature by 10°C, revealed James Hayter.
Drawing from his experience in Darwin, Australia, Hayter, who is the International Federation of Landscape Architects president, said on average, tree-lined streets measured 34°C while non-tree-lined streets were 44°C.
“There is a direct correlation between the tree population in a city and its temperature.
“The rise in global temperatures has prompted the widespread use of air-conditioning in many humid cities in Australia, further increasing electricity usage.
“It is important for communities to be armed with such information so that they can pressure the local authorities and their governments to plant more trees in the cities.”
Hayter said climate and environmental issues were becoming central to national politics in many countries.
“In Australia, the failure of the government to sufficiently address climate issues led to the change of government in the last election.”
Hayter was speaking during a seminar titled “City Landscape and Climate Change: Australian Experience” jointly organised by Institute of Landscape Architects Malaysia (Ilam) and Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) in Kuala Lumpur.
Hayter said it was important for landscape architects to engage with the local community prior to designing any landscape for them.
“Do not impose your ideas on the community but get them involved instead to ensure they are on board with your ideas.
“Community involvement is essential to ensure local authorities and landscape architects are sensitive to the needs of the local community.”
At the seminar, Ilam president Associate Professor Dr Suhardi Maulan said Malaysia would be hosting the Ifla World Congress 2020 in Penang from Aug 13 to 15 next year.
Themed “Future Tense”, the summit will allow industry players to discuss future concerns and pursue landscape architecture-based solutions for social and environmental issues.
More than 1,000 international delegates from 50 countries, including the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific, are expected to attend.
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