Use of trees in urban environment

Katarína Gécová

SUMMARY

It is the aim of any society to create optimal housing and living conditions for its inhabitants. Fast growth and development of settlements and urbanization in general resulted in numerous factors that have negative impacts on our environment. This process leads to the elimination of the essential part of the urban environment, i.e. trees and other vegetation. Great part of vegetation is exposed to such conditions that mostly do not meet  requirements of legislation  (e.g. exhaust fumes, polluted environments) – the ability of woody plants to adapt and grow, affect and resist such stressful conditions vary according to the species of woody plants.

The article addresses the use of trees in the urban environment. Trees constitute a vital part of the environment. They provide for ecological and social functions but also for aesthetic or hygienic functions that are of the same significance in the urban environment. The amount of greenery and spatial relationships between separated green areas have an impact on the state of biodiversity in the urban environment. The positive impact of biodiversity on a human being living in the urban environment is unquestionable. Fragmentation of natural elements requires their interconnection into the local system of interconnected natural elements at the citywide level.

At present the process of urbanization brings dynamic changes: an indigenous natural environment is being replaced with the urban environment. This process is related to the high urban densification on green spaces intended for sporting, leisure and relaxation activities of local residents, while the concept of urban greenery is not being respected. Grass spaces are being replaced with hard surfaced areas; parking areas are being enlarged; mature trees are being cut down, which are the consequences of investment activities, while the retention effect of permeable areas is being forgotten. It is no secret that construction development mostly burdens existing as well as potential spaces and directly, together with the other factors, affects the condition of trees in the settlement. It is a common phenomenon of the present time related to the global growth of human population, increased concentration of population in large cities, but also growing pressure of development companies. This problem entails pressure on the environment. The quality and accessibility of green spaces are nowadays much more significant indicators than the quantity; trees and other vegetation are becoming one of the indicators of the quality of the settlement residential area.

Keywords: environment, greenery, maintenance, protection, trees, urban design