Trees and Water Sensitive Urban Design

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Traditional drainage of stormwater run-off was designed to rapidly convey rainwater from where it has fallen to a soakaway or watercourse. This old method increases the risks of flooding, environmental damage, and urban diffuse pollution, as run-off water usually carries contaminants including oils, heavy metals, pesticides, fertilisers, chemicals, and other organic matter.

The implementation of sustainable drainage systems – demonstrated in outline as well as detailed applications and design submissions – is now demanded by authorities as a prerequisite of planning considerations, from early site evaluations, design and environmental-impact assessments.

Trees, often the only soft opening in many inner city streets, can play a vital role in urban areas in assisting in managing urban water runoff.  Careful tree pit design can allow these openings become an opportunity to reduce run off and canopy interception of a mature tree delays and reduces rainwater reaching the ground.

Use of AluExcel edging can give a clear defined edge to hard landscape while allowing surface water to flow uninterrupted over into soft landscape areas or on to areas of permeable paving.  Reinforced turf or Gravel surfaces can allow large volumes of water to drain naturally into ground recharge.

Derry Tree Planting

The beautification of the ‘city of culture’ was a huge public realm scheme in the heart of Londonderry. With its origins as a settlement in an Oak Grove it is fitting that upgrades to the centre of Derry (Londonderry) have recognised the importance of long term planning for healthy trees.

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