This book focuses on the politics of street trees and the institutions, actors and processes that govern their planning, planting and maintenance. This is an innovative approach which is particularly important in the context of mounting environmental and societal challenges and reveals a huge amount about the nature of modern life, social change and political conflict.

The work first provides different historical perspectives on street trees and politics, celebrating diversity in different cultures. A second section discusses street tree values, policy and management, addressing more contemporary issues of their significance and contribution to our environment, both physically and philosophically. It explores cultural idiosyncrasies and those from the point of view of political economy, particularly challenging the neo-liberal perspectives that continue to dominate political narratives. The final section provides case studies of community engagement, civil action and governance. International case studies bring together contrasting approaches in areas with diverging political directions or intentions, the constraints of laws and the importance of people power. 

By pursuing an interdisciplinary approach this book produces an information base for academics, practitioners, politicians and activists alike, thus contributing to a fairer political debate that helps to promote more democratic environments that are sustainable, equitable, comfortable and healthier.

chapter |13 pages


part 1|134 pages

Historic perspectives on street trees and politics

chapter 1|12 pages

The ‘Right to Plant’

Roadside tree planting in the Netherlands

chapter 2|14 pages

‘Trees even in their very roads’

Mid-seventeenth-century English perspectives on trees, streets and politics

chapter 3|12 pages

Green lines of power?

The Apprentice Boys' trees and the walls of Derry/Londonderry

chapter 4|14 pages

Progress and economics

Planting roadside fruit trees in the German states in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries

chapter 5|14 pages

Sylvan strife

Tree conflicts in Victorian and Edwardian towns

chapter 6|14 pages

Drivers of street tree species selection

The case of London planetrees in Philadelphia

chapter 7|13 pages

A ‘silent’ activist for trees

The life and legacy of Gustav Hermann Krumbiegel in Mysore, India

chapter 8|13 pages

A broken covenant

The creation and desecration of Sheffield's living memorials

chapter 9|12 pages

Roads of modernisation

Street tree planting in the Republic of China (1911–1949)

part 2|126 pages

Street tree values, policy and management

chapter 11|14 pages

Highway tree policies and management

An historical perspective of ownership and responsibility

chapter 12|13 pages

Street trees matter, so what's the matter with street trees?

How the ecosystem services and disservices of street trees can and should influence attitudes

chapter 15|14 pages

What street trees mean

Memory, beauty and hospitality

chapter 18|11 pages

The economics of street trees

Why we so often can't see the wood for the trees

chapter 20|13 pages

Streets ahead or the road to hell?

Analysing street tree strategies in the UK

part 3|122 pages

Community engagement, civic action and governance

chapter 22|16 pages

Occupying public space, generating public spheres

Street tree art and activism in East and West Berlin in the 1970s and 1980s

chapter 24|14 pages

Against all odds

Making the case for trees in Bogotá, Colombia

chapter 25|14 pages

Legal protection of street trees in Israel

Actors, process and enforcement

chapter 27|11 pages


Site lines as fight lines

chapter 28|12 pages

A case for change

Why green practitioners need to learn more about engineering and get political!

chapter |11 pages