by Andreas Hunkeler
Trees are something very special, don't you think so?
And trees in cities anyway.
Did you know that trees can measurably improve people's health? research show that the health-promoting effects are particularly great on cardiovascular diseases. You can find a text on this topic here.
An interesting question in this regard is: is it the trees that keep us healthy? Or is it the landscape that the trees help to create? It could be that trees have a positive effect on our health because their presence in forests, parks or avenues motivates us to exercise more? Maybe cycling to work or a jog in the evening?
That is quite possible.
But there are also voices that suggest that trees themselves have a positive effect on our health. The philosopher and psychotherapist Erich Fromm even invented a word for it: Biophilia. The healing effect of the living on the living - and we humans are too.
In Japan, a whole field of research has arisen on the health effects of trees and forests. And a method of its own: Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing.
And there is also the climate: trees bind CO2 and form oxygen. Trees reduce the amount of ozone, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and sulfur in the air.
The great forests? Yes, that too.
But also the trees in our cities. These also regulate the urban microclimate: Trees shade buildings, streets and squares. The measurable differences between paved areas and green areas can amount to 15 ° C.
Trees offer noise protection and wind protection.
Trees bring life to the city: They create habitats for fauna and flora: insects, birds and small mammals; as well as flowers, ivy and bushes. Alongside climate change, biodiversity has become one of the most important global challenges of our time. And as urbanization progresses, the importance of urban trees as multipliers of urban biodiversity multipliers could increase. And the question of which trees we want to plant in our cities in the future.
Trees help us to get in touch with the natural cycles, with the natural forces within and around us. Trees help us connect with the forces of nature.
Green areas form important meeting centers. Places to meet and linger. A prominent example of this is the Edible city of Andernach.
Trees bring aesthetics to the city. My favorite places are surrounded by beautiful trees. For example, I especially love this old and sublime Atlas Cedar! My favorite street is lined with huge plane trees that climb into the sky. When I think of my homeland, I often see the image of a mighty linden tree that amazed me even as a child.
For many people, trees have a symbolic, emotional and sometimes spiritual meaning. In this text you can learn more about the mythological references to trees.
Yes, trees are magical. Trees are super valuable! I wish that we can plant many, many trees and protect the existing trees well.