Trees Need Homes Too: Protecting the Urban Canopy Cover Amid Increased Need for Housing Developments

Heather Fraser

Regional Representative Atlantic Region, Représentante de la région atlantique du RCFU

With the continued growth of the Canadian population, the increased need for affordable housing, and the rising cost of living, Canadians are looking for economical solutions to their living situations. For some, that means downsizing while for others, that means moving across the country to provinces and municipalities with more affordable options. The question is, what impact does the housing crisis have on tree coverage?

How the Housing Market Impacts Urban Canopy

The housing market has amplified the need for more affordable housing and created new opportunities and demand for housing developments in regions across the country, including the Atlantic provinces. However, like with any urban developments, the development of new housing options like apartments and duplexes can add stress to local trees. Often these trees are already under stress from changes to their environment, including the construction of new roads, schools and infrastructure projects. In many cases, trees are even removed to create space for urban growth and development.

Solutions to Protect the Trees and Create New Housing

Although it is sometimes necessary to cut a tree and plant a new one in order to accommodate development, there are alternative options that should be considered. One alternative is smart housing complexes, which are a cluster of smaller homes built closer together with shared driveways and green spaces, as well as smaller green developments, where trees get saved instead of cut.

Tridev Corporation, a residential developer in Dieppe, New Brunswick, does just that. As developers, they respect local ecology and strive to build green communities by working with the natural landscape of a region when designing new residential developments. Their approach to environmental sustainability has won Tridev awards for their developments, such as the “Village” concept.

More development projects of this nature need to occur to retain the important tree canopy that takes years to grow and provides so many benefits to those who are fortunate enough to live in these neighbourhoods.





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