Magazine article American Forests

Forest Forum

Magazine article American Forests

Forest Forum

Article excerpt

Parking Lots Add to Heat Woes editor: "ATLANTA'S CHANGING Environment" and its accompanying "Sprinting Toward Sustainability" were good articles but failed to mention the negative effect of parking lots on urban heat islands. Parking lots comprise roughly 10 percent of the entire urban land area. Materials used in their construction absorb solar radiation.This sensible heat is reradiated into the surrounding air and ground long after the sun has set.This heat is a major component of the summer urban heat island. Parking lots are a major component of Atlanta's heat problem.

In both of the articles the main focus was streets. The shading by trees is an important component of cooling the overall city, but to leave parking lots out of your discussion seems an oversight.

Many factors need to be addressed in making trees a viable influence in cooling parking lots. Environmental factors for the tree are foremost, from planting-well size to lessening their urban stresses.

I wrote a Master's thesis, with information from AmERICAN FORESTS and other sources, for Mediterranean climate zones. All considerations for cooling, tree viability, safety, etc. are pertinent to other climates, like Atlanta's; only the selection of tree types to be used would be different. For those interested in reviewing the thesis, it is titled: Mitigation of Summer Urban Heat Islands in Mediterranean Climate Zones Through Development of Urban Forests in Parking Lots.

Karl J Schiavo, Santa Jose, California

Kudos for Streamside Forests

editor: I ENJOYED the article on streamside forests. The author did a thorough job incorporating most of the key people and covering the issues. There are a few others that need recognition.

Work by Bruce James, University of Maryland; William Peterjohn and David Correll, Smithsonian Institute, Maryland; and Wendel Gilliam, North Carolina State University, produced results similar to what Richard Lowrance was finding at Tifton, Georgia. Riparian trees on uplands and flood plains reduced nutrient movement from cropland to streams.

The former Agriculture Stabilization & Conservation Service should also be recognized for setting up the first costshare practice for forest buffers in the early 1990s. …

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