The City Council agreed today to look at ways to make developers take trees into consideration as they transform Boston into a denser city.
City Councilors Tim McCarthy and Matt O'Malley, who represent some of city's leafiest neighborhoods (Hyde Park, Roslindale and Mattapan for McCarthy, Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury for O'Malley) said the city is falling far short of a 2020 goal to plant 100,000 new trees, and that developers too often clear-cut first, then just try to build as much as possible on the lots they buy to take advantage of one of the largest building booms in city history.
McCarthy said this cut-everything-down approach has been a particular problem in his district.
One possible answer would be to require developers to look to save existing trees and even plant new ones, they said.
O'Malley said building up the city's tree canopy is not just a way to fight climate change and pollution but is actually a money saver because homes on particularly leafy streets are just naturally cooler thanks to the shade they provide. "You have trees, you are going to save money," he said.
O'Malley did point to the work to replace the Casey Overpass in Forest Hills with a series of street roads as an example of what could be done - the roads have been accompanied by the planting of a large number of new trees.