When visitors fly into our "city in a forest", they always comment saying "It's so green!" The Atlanta Canopy Conference sought to maintain our city's uniqueness.
In my mind, there were three main themes (intentional or not) to the conference: looking to the future, designing the landscape, and education through arboreta. The following are my takeaways from the conference.
Looking to the Future
- Nature is needed for a dense city to be a good place to live. Hopefully the City of Atlanta's City Design Project and Urban Ecology Framework will keep nature a focus
- Powerline prairies: How do we improve the spaces that our built environment has provided us?
- The Atlanta Canopy Alliance wants to use the tree ordinance fees fund to acquire key forested tracts
Designing the Landscape
- The four primary principles of landscape design are: mystery, complexity, coherence, and legibility
- A few more characteristics of enchanting landscapes: 'of the place', dynamic, luminous
- The variations available within a single species can be wide-ranging in forms, leaf color, flowers, and more
- The BeltLine's 22 miles provides great diversity for a linear arboretum
- The BeltLine arboretum was divided into 14 "natural neighborhoods" distinguished by their ecology, culture, and history
- An arboretum should be legible as a collection
- "How do you perceive an arboretum from a train?"
Education through Arboreta
- Arboreta are a "living learning laboratory"
- The BeltLine provides a new audience for education
- The BeltLine arboretum will be considered a "success" when everyone who lives along the BeltLine can identify their neighborhood by the trees surrounding it
- Some arboreta focus on cultivating as many different species as possible, while others are 'tied to place' using native plants
- The BeltLine is currently lacking in interpretive and entrance signage