In April 2021, we joined Walkable Ottawa, Greenspace Alliance and arborist Andrew Boyd to hold a workshop to consider neighbourhood walkability with a focus on how to protect the tree canopy. Tree canopy and a shady walk are essential to a walkable neighbourhood. We were honoured to be joined by Natasha Bertrand helping us to explore the indigenous connection to trees and Lisa Nisbet, Environmental Psychology Professor discussing Trees and Mental Wellbeing.
The workshop focused on street trees: understanding the existing condition of our street trees and infrastructure that impacts canopy and root space. We tested ideas for regulations for root space in new developments, brainstormed ideas to increase tree planting and maintenance on public and private property. The goal of the workshop was to put together a proposed plan of action that would get a sample Overbrook street to 40% canopy as quickly as possible, and then maintain that percentage of tree canopy indefinitely, in line with our call for Ottawa's Official Plan to require 40% tree canopy per neighbourhood.
This is a grassroots process, intended to inform the City of Ottawa and the public on how this can be done. Together we can help to understand your neighbourhood and help plan an evolution to a complete 15-minute neighbourhood with delightfully shady walkability! With thanks to everyone who participated in the workshop. You can see the report from the workshop here:
For more information, we invite you to watch these great video clips from the workshop:
- Natasha Bertrand - Indigenous Connection to Trees
- Paul Johanis, Greenspace Alliance of Canada’s Capital – Why Trees Matter
- Paul Johanis & Andrew Boyd, Arborist - Q&A session
- Paul Johanis – Why a 40% Tree Canopy Target per Neighbourhood is Critical
- Carolyn Mackenzie & Lisa Nisbet, Environmental Psychology Professor - Trees and Mental Wellbeing
- Rosaline Hill, Paul Johanis & Andrew Boyd - Urban Tree Species
- Paul Johanis and Andrew Boyd - Urban Tree Protection – Enforcement, Incentives
- Carolyn Mackenzie and Andrew Boyd - Tree Canopy Strategies