William Eichler 29 January 2020

Edinburgh council announces aim to be a ‘million tree city’

Edinburgh City Council has announced that it is working on an ‘action plan’ aimed at increasing the number of trees in the city to one million.

The Scottish city currently has more than 730,000 urban trees. However, this is set to dramatically increase after the approval of a report entitled Edinburgh: A Million Tree City by the Culture and Communities Committee.

The aim of the scheme is aimed at, among other things, removing pollution from the atmosphere and alleviating localised flooding.

An Edinburgh Million Tree Forum made up of representatives from a wide range of relevant organisations will bring together principal stakeholders to set an updated vision for trees in Edinburgh and find ways of planting more trees, more quickly.

‘We're so proud that Edinburgh is already the UK's greenest city, with more trees than people, more green space and more green flag parks than any other place in Scotland for people to enjoy,’ said culture and communities convener Cllr Donald Wilson.

‘Last year we became the first Scottish local authority to support the Charter for Trees, pledging our full commitment to cherish, nurture and celebrate our trees. And we're delighted to be part of the excellent TreeTime initiative whereby people can adopt or plant a new tree in the Capital.

‘But we want to - and must - do even better, especially as we strive towards our hugely ambitious target of making the city carbon neutral by 2030.

‘By joining the cohort of Million Tree Cities such as New York, Shanghai, London and Los Angeles, we'll be able to substantially reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to lessen the impact of climate change.

‘It's going to require a huge amount of dedicated partnership working but I know we collectively have both the will and the capacity to reach the million tree target, if we all pull together.

‘It's impossible to overstate the benefits trees bring to the urban landscape. They help clean our air, reduce the risk of flooding, keep us cool in the summer and warmer in winter and give the wildlife in our city a home, as well as making neighbourhoods look and feel tranquil and appealing.’

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