In the wake of the new approaches adopted by the City’s Parks and Gardens Department (SEVE) with regard to the management of trees, the aim of planting 500 new specimens has been exceeded. The aim is to enhance the quality of life in the different districts while increasing resilience to climate change. Tools providing the population with better information have been developed along with an awareness programme.
The new approach to tree management adopted by the City of Geneva’s Parks and Gardens Department (SEVE) came to fruition this winter with the planting of 533 trees. The City therefore exceeded the aim of 500 new specimens that it set itself for the season 2020-2021, representing three times the number of trees planted in previous years. These newly-planted trees add to the 40,000 specimens that can already be found around the municipal territory, thanks to the dedication of an additional planting team within the SEVE.
The campaign was particularly generous to the Hentsch (60), Trembley (20), Geisendorf (46) and Bertrand (44) parks. In Parc La Grange, 15 trees were added to those planted to regenerate the beech wood. Some quite remarkable specimens have found a home, in particular in Parc Beaulieu where an additional cedar of Lebanon, almost 25 years old, has taken up residence. With some 120 species adapted to the climate change observed in Geneva, the planting season was also marked by the inclusion of a wide variety of species. An extraordinary number of oaks (chestnut-leaved oak, Macedonian oak, southern red oak and Austrian oak) have been added to the city’s collection of trees, in particular on Rue Edouard-Rod, together with a number of botanical curiosities, such as a false Sichuan pepper tree in the cemetery in le Petit-Saconnex.
Increasing and protecting the city’s tree heritage
The recently completed planting campaign meets the objectives set last June by Mr Alfonso Gomez, Administrative Councillor responsible for the environment, with the aim of replacing each tree felled by three new trees. “I would like to congratulate the SEVE teams who have worked hard to meet, and even exceed, the bold target set,” states Mr Gomez. It is our responsibility to maintain this heading, as trees are essential allies in the fight against climate change.
They play a fundamental role in reducing heat islands, lowering the level of CO2 present in the atmosphere, ensuring the well-being of the inhabitants and increasing biodiversity.” Numerous other measures have been taken and the efforts made to protect the city’s trees demonstrate greater diligence and transparency with regard to managing and increasing the foliage cover to create a canopy stretching over 30% of the territory by 2030. The aim of the strategic re-vegetation plan 2030 is thus to identify new potential sites for the introduction of additional greenery.
Geneva, city of trees: a programme for the general public
In parallel to the City’s commitment in the field, an awareness programme named “Geneva, city of trees” has been introduced by the SEVE and the “Agenda 21 - Sustainable city” department under the banner “The trees take care of the city, the City takes care of its trees”. It aims to promote the city’s trees and explore the role of trees in the city. It will be launched in May 2021 and will continue throughout the legislature. This year, several events intended for the general public have been scheduled until October. The format of these events will depend on how the health situation develops.
The first “Geneva, city of trees” event – a multidisciplinary happening entitled Portraits of giants – will be held from 15 May to 27 June 2021 in 9 different locations. Combining the arts and sciences, this event organised by the association Les Cinq Sens de la Nature will involve an exhibition of paintings of remarkable trees around Geneva by Ingrid Kaufmann at the Villa Dutoit, concerts, forest explorations, numerous workshops, happenings and public debates.
Even more information on tree management
In order to improve communication, a new page, www.geneve.ch/arbres, has been created on the City’s website. It contains a diary of events relating to trees together with documentation which will be expanded over time (informative resources, a bibliography for young readers, etc.). The SEVE will soon incorporate interactive cards presenting the planting operations implemented and the trees felled by the department. Regularly updated, they will provide a wealth of information about each tree including its location, the species, the date of the operation and, in the event of felling, the authorisation number and the reasons underpinning the decision.
While explanatory boards are placed at the foot of the trees to be felled, this information will also be relayed via the social networks. These measures satisfy the demands of the inhabitants of Geneva who are very attached to the city’s trees and are keen to benefit from transparent communication on the subject.
Article modifié le 27.04.2021 à 16:14