Philippine Daily Inquirer


- JONATHAN C. FOE, Sampaloc, Manila,

METRO Manila is perhaps one of the most congested and hot cities on earth. With global warming and economic growth, the city will get worse for our children. There is a partial solution to this mess we are in. We should plant trees all over the urban area, on a massive scale. For every six parking spots on roadways and businesses, there should be one medium or large tree planted. Of course, there will be consequenc­es to this, such as the reduction in the number of parking spots available. Digging into streets and parking lots can also hit unmapped sewage and water lines.

Yet, the benefits are numerous. According to a North Carolina State University study, planting trees in urban areas can:


the air through evaporatio­n of the leaves, and reduce the heat reaching the cement. Roadways give out heat at night, making cities “heat islands.” If the roadway or parking lot remains mostly shaded by trees, the nighttime temperatur­e can be reduced by two degrees centigrade or more.

•Reduce glare, noise and dust.

•Trap carbon dioxide, reducing global warming.

•Benefit future generation­s, since the trees last so long and grow so big.

The trees planted on private and public areas should not be small palm trees, but leafy trees, perhaps hardy native trees. In the short term, tree-planting might not get a politician elected, but political leaders who mandate the planting of trees will be appreciate­d by happy future Filipinos.

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