It will make it possible to reclassify tree lines on streets, convert asphalt surfaces into green areas in the heart of neighborhoods and strengthen health monitoring.
THE Administrative Council will propose to the Municipal Council the opening of a new framework credit of 8.4 million francs intended for the greening of the city. The entire previous credit, opened in 2022, being committed, a new line is necessary to accelerate the proactive policy in terms of arborization. With an amount twice as high as the previous one, this credit will allow at the Green Spaces Department (SEVE), which will be the beneficiary, to work with long-term planning.
Episodes of heatwave and drought as well as increasingly frequent extreme weather phenomena remind us of the benefits of vegetation in urban areas. “This credit is necessary to combat heat islands, promote biodiversity, remove bitumen wherever possible in order to make soils permeable and limit their erosion. It is essential, as much for protect our environment and improve the health and quality of life of the population. Maintaining, renewing, monitoring, securing trees, but also beautifying the territory, is investing for the future. We must give ourselves the means,” says Alfonso Gomez, head of the Department of Finance, Environment and Housing (DFEL).
Planting projects in the heart of neighborhoods
A detailed analysis of the planting potential having been carried out thanks to the previous credit on the plots owned by the City, the SEVE now has new sites that can accommodate trees. This is particularly the case for certain parking spaces, which will be compensated by underground spaces near. Several projects are already being developed in Pâquis and La Jonction, two of the most treeless neighborhoods. The tree planting of plots belonging to private owners and having a direct impact on public space will also be continued. Finally, new micro-forests will be able to emerge, allowing the population to participate in planting trees near their homes.
Generally speaking, the City of Geneva has a large number of sites whose ground has been concreted over time as urbanization progressed, particularly under the impetus of road projects (roundabouts, crossroads, road edges, spaces between specimens). Combined, these spaces represent a considerable but unexploited surface area and sometimes neglected from an environmental point of view. The transformation of these spaces into green areas will allow a significant improvement in the quality of life in an urban environment..
Preservation of old trees
Furthermore, the existing tree heritage deserves particular attention. Certain tree alignments have become incomplete, making the renewal of missing specimens a priority. This may require requalification of plantable spaces: widening of planting pits, removal of bitumen between trees (de-waterproofing) or installation of permanent protection around the feet. Ecosystem services (shading and thermal regulation, habitat for small wildlife, etc.) are mainly provided by old trees, it is necessary to preserve them for as long as possible, while ensuring safety by avoiding falling trees or branches.
The inventory of tree heritage, updated every ten years, has just been updated and constitutes an essential tool in the day-to-day management of trees. Strengthening health monitoring of the 23,000 mapped isolated trees and the 12 hectares of wooded areas (excluding forests) under SEVE management will involve regular monitoring, monitoring of good practices by public authorities and maintenance of the data collected by developing adapted geomatics tools.
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