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Greenery must be a priority. Gdansk Charter for Trees is being created

13 of March '24

The climate crisis means that there is no escape from increased planting and better protection of trees in cities today . That's why a Gdansk Charter for Trees, a set of provisions on how to take care of urban greenery, is being created in the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship. Some cities have already taken steps in this direction.

In Berlin, greenery inventories began before the outbreak of World War II. Today every tree is described, so you know in real time what ails it. The first Polish city to develop uniform standards for managing urban greenery was Warsaw. The Charter on the Rights of Trees and accompanying documents unified the rules for cutting, reviewing, caring for and planting trees. In addition, four years ago the capital launched the Tree Crowns Map. Anyone can check what trees are growing anywhere in the capital, with more than 7 million trees identified in total.

Trees are also to be treated with more care in Gdansk. Work is underway on the Gdansk Charter for Trees, although the project has already caught a delay - the assumptions were supposed to be known at the end of last year. Green activities in the capital of the Pomeranian Voivodeship must gain momentum, because according to the "Green City" strategy adopted two years ago, 50,000 trees are to be planted in Gdansk by 2030.

Better care for greenery is also demanded by residents and activists. Last year the City Council received a draft civic resolution "Zadrzewiamy Gdańsk", supported by the signatures of a thousand residents. Among the demands were the introduction of standards of care for greenery, the planting of three thousand trees a year and the launch of a green website with information, if only about cuttings. The activists also submitted demands to the Gdansk magistrate's office for the protection and management of city trees under the slogan "Let's give six to the city's trees." It was these initiatives that prompted the city authorities to act.

They will set standards, unreliable contractors face penalties

TheGdansk Charter for Tre es will be an official city document developed by a team of experts, which will include provisions for maintenance standards and the introduction of new trees. The project is headed and coordinated by the Gdansk Roads and Greenery Authority. It involves GZDiZ employees who are specialists in tree stand maintenance and designing public space for greenery, external experts in dendrology and landscape architecture, other municipal units that have an impact on greenery in Gdansk, and representatives of greenery boards from other centers in Poland.

The charter will include standards, applicable to both designers and contractors. It will outline directions and ways of dealing with urban greenery. This is a good way of doing things. The project was solidly prepared and supported by the latest research. It was created based on the opinions of representatives of local communities and specialists from various centers, who shared their experiences, " assessed the idea in an interview with A&B Katarzyna Rozmarynowska, an architect and urban planner, a specialist in landscape architecture and the history of garden art [you can read her interview with the expert in the April issue of Architektura & Business magazine].

As the City reported, thanks to the formulas developed, it is possible to calculate the value of each tree, which in turn makes it possible to impose penalties on contractors who implement investments in an unreliable and improper manner.

Such an approach to the topic makes it possible to enforce the proper protection of trees primarily during investment works carried out in Gdansk , officials explained.

less concrete, more greenery

In the meantime, the Gdańsk Roads and Greenery Management Board has begun marking the city's tree stand. Ultimately, arbotags, i.e. plaques that make it possible to catalog trees and make it easier to identify individual specimens, will appear on all trees under the care of the Gdansk Roads and Greenery Board. Such activities have long been carried out by Karków or Poznań.

In Gdansk, changes for the better are taking place, albeit slowly. They are often inspired by the demands of residents and the voices of neighborhood councils. An example? Less concrete and more plants are to be created along the city's main artery - Grunwaldzka Avenue. In an area of about 300 meters, roadworkers are removing paving blocks and concrete slabs. In their place, three new green spaces will be created, and almost a thousand shrubs and perennials will be planted.

We Wrzeszczu przy al. Grunwaldzkiej rozpoczęło się tzw. rozbrukowywanie części chodnika

In Wrzeszcz on Grunwaldzka Avenue, the so-called paving of part of the sidewalk has begun

photo: Piotr Wittman/ Gdań

Our city and trends are constantly changing. Actions taken a few or a dozen years ago today are already unacceptable. That's why we are constantly looking for places that can be improved, restore their natural values, and allow residents to commune with greenery also in densely built-up areas," stresses Barbara Tusk, deputy director of the Gdańsk Roads and Greenery Management Board for Public Space.

The direction is absolutely right, but more such initiatives are needed today.

Ewa Karendys

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