Walkable West Palm Beach

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Andres Duany: Street trees a “technical and social necessity”

You won’t look at street trees the same way after listening to this old clip by Andres Duany, from a lecture given way back in 1989. Andres is entertaining, sometimes controversial, and always worth your time to watch. This whole lecture is great, really, but start the video from minute 42 if you want to skip to the part on street trees. Thanks to Joe Minicozzi for making me aware of this great lecture.



Increasing tree canopy to reduce street flooding

Today’s guest on Walkable West Palm Beach is Robert Taylor. Robert and his wife Jeanne created the Tree Canopy WPB advocacy group [be sure to like their page!]. Its mission:

Tree Canopy WPB is a grassroots organization whose mission is to outreach to neighborhoods on the benefits and importance of increasing urban tree canopy and to provide support to neighborhoods who engage in tree planting projects.

Robert Taylor’s abbreviated bio: Robert Taylor is a Certified Environmental Professional (CEP) with 35 years of professional work experience.   He is currently with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) as a Lead Environmental Scientist for the past 12 years.  Mr. Taylor was the recipient of the 2013 US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) Regional Director Honor Award for his contribution to the Everglades conservation project.  He has successfully designed and implemented large scale research projects and authored complex memorandum of understanding between the SFWMD, State of Florida and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. As well, Mr. Taylor and Jeanne Taylor volunteer to assist local communities on the value of trees and green infrastructure projects.

The reasons for urban tree canopy are many. We usually focus on the specialized role of street trees in the urban transect here on Walkable West Palm Beach and their benefits to placemaking. Robert’s article goes in depth into another role street trees play – the substantial environmental and stormwater runoff benefits. This is the type of relatively low-cost, high return on investment project the city can pursue to make West Palm Beach a stronger and more walkable city.



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New sidewalks and trees on Quadrille Boulevard in downtown WPB


The Quadrille enhancement project is moving along nicely, with the land being prepared for new sidewalks on the western frontage of Quadrille. The median is torn up to make way for new tree plantings.

It’s forbidding to walk from CityPlace to Clematis down Quadrille currently because of the current conditions:  sidewalks missing altogetherlack of sufficent street lighting, and poor signalization. With this project completed, expect a large increase in foot traffic along the western side of Quadrille as a linkage between Clematis Street and CityPlace. Options to turn the corner and walk down another block enhance the connectivity of a place and enhance our downtown. 

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