A groundbreaking scientific study, i-trees began on the 11th December with pupils from Manchester Academy joining scientists from The University of Manchester to start the two year project, which will accurately measure the important impact of trees in the fight against climate change.
There are nine i-trees plots all located on the Corridor, the Oxford Road area of the City. Each plot consists of three 3m x 3m grids of tarmac, grass and a tree which are linked to monitoring equipment that gathers information on surface and air temperature, air quality and surface water run off.
Dr Roland Ennos, from The University of Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences said: “It is generally accepted that trees and greenery help to reduce surface and air temperatures – that’s why it is always cooler to stand beneath the shade of a tree, rather than a building. No one has accurately measured the size of this effect over a sustained period and against other types of surfaces. Our hope is that the results of i-trees will inform future tree planting in the city so we can start now to counter balance the increase in temperatures expected in the cities over the next 20 years caused by climate change.
Involving the pupils from Manchester Academy in the project is really important, as they will be finding out first hand about climate change and its effects, and making a real contribution to the study and the future of Manchester”
The science and what it will achieve
The results will provide the data needed to demonstrate the multiple benefits of greenery to city and town environments. It is also hoped the study will be a useful tool to provide planners and developers with data to inform future developments Manchester so that enough green space is provided to help keep people living, working and visiting the City cool and comfortable as the climate changes.
The context of I-trees
Councillor Richard Cowell, Executive Member for the Environment, Manchester City Council said: “Climate change is a reality that needs to be faced by everyone. Manchester City Council has just released its Climate Change Action Plan which sets out our strategic objectives and how we will deliver them. There is support across the city, from businesses, schools, the universities, the hospitals and community groups that we all work together to tackle climate change, and i-trees is an important project, which I know is one of many planned, to put Manchester on the map as a driver for change.”
Jackie Potter, chief executive, Corridor Manchester said: “i-trees is the first of many studies planned by Corridor Manchester and its partners to develop the Oxford Road area of the city into a place where scientists and researchers can access a whole range of facilities to enable them to test, develop and deliver projects and theories, to turn them into reality that will bring long term benefits for Manchester and its people.”
i-trees builds on the internationally respected work of The University of Manchester into the role of street trees and green spaces in adapting urban areas to climate change, and the nationally respected work of Red Rose Forest in greening urban areas through its Green Streets project.
The i-trees project is a working partnership between Corridor Manchester, The University of Manchester, Red Rose Forest, Manchester City Council and Manchester Metropolitan University. i-trees is also supported by Manchester Science Park, Manchester Leisure and Manchester Academy. Funding for this project has also been provided from the European INTERREG IVB fund as part of the VALUE programme.
Source: Corridor Manchester