The T.R.E.E.S. Project Charrette

In 1997, TreePeople brought together some of the nation's leading building and landscape architects, government officials, urban foresters and engineers and gave them a difficult assignment: to draw up sustainable-landscape plans for a number of typical Los Angeles sites – plans that would begin to address the area's most pressing environmental problems.

Five sites – a single-family home, a multi-family complex, a commercial/retail center, an industrial site and a public high school – were selected to represent a cross-section of the urban landscape. Sites like these would have to be dealt with by any program aimed at implementing progressive watershed management policies.

Design solutions for the sites included: concrete removal, strategic tree planting, installation of innovative water capture and retention technologies, green waste chipping and mulching, and other appropriate urban landscape techniques.

Patrick Condon, the James Taylor Chair in Landscape and Livable Environments at the University of British Columbia, facilitated the charrette, and environmentalist and entrepreneur Paul Hawken was the keynote speaker at its opening reception.

The charrette results and many of the drawings were published in 1999 in the planbook, Second Nature.