City College of New York, Spitzer School of Architecture
Student Name: Ettoré Spatola
Studio: Landscape Architecture; Independent Study
Professor(s): Achva Benzinberg Stein
Site: 64th/Lincoln Center
Project Name: Street Trees of 72nd Street
Trees are a valued component of cities, providing shade, humidity, wildlife habitat and visual relief from the built landscape. Street trees serve as buffers between human beings and what is arguably a stressful physical environment. Much is expected of street trees, yet little is known about their physiological response to the urban environment.
Street trees in New York City are exposed to a variety of environmental stress factors. Because of the way street trees are typically planted, in isolated small openings in the concrete, they often experience water deficits. Investigations of the tree environment at 72nd Street revealed that the immediate microclimate around the tree can be very different from the official weather report for that area. Variables such as which side of the street the tree is planted, the surrounding city structures, and the tree species all affect the water conditions for street trees.