Urban Tree Management – Our Experience in Indonesia as a Professional Landscape Architect | August 2021
Within the urban areas of a city, trees provide a significant feature in the landscape and play a diverse ecological function which is essential to every terrestrial ecosystem. Trees also play an important role in creating the atmosphere of a city, serving as dynamic and living decorative elements. As professional Landscape Architects, TOWNLAND has extensive experience in best practice tree management at a diversity of scales.
At the macro scale, for large scale developments and new towns, we regularly formulate landscape design guidelines which provide guidance to our clients in the implementation of their development projects in order to ensure that the overriding vision and brand image as well as quality and atmosphere are maintained throughout the development cycle. Such guidelines take the form of Greenery Masterplans which set out the framework for the soft elements of the landscape design, including importantly clear guidance on tree management at a macro level.
For smaller sites, our approach to tree management often commences with an existing tree survey. This provides invaluable input on tree composition, diversity, condition and location and forms the basis for our site specific landscape planning and design approach. Conducting an existing tree survey is also an important step in potentially helping our Clients to save on purchasing new trees whilst at the same time ensuring that a project can achieve an established and ‘mature’ ambiance in a much shorter timeframe and with much less effort and environmental impact.
Whilst we promote the preservation of the existing urban trees as far as practicable, it is sometimes unavoidable that there is a need to plant new trees for a development site. Our role in this regard is to formulate standards and protocols which will ensure that only high quality trees are selected and delivered with proper transport and handling and following a standardized method of planting and maintenance. This helps to ensure that high quality greenery will be established and sustained for the long term as a valuable asset to a development.
At the end of April this Year, the Government of Jakarta has published a regulation for Tree Management and Preservation (PERGUB NO. 24 / 2021) in Jakarta. This regulation seeks to protect existing trees as a direct response to climate change and is an acknowledgment by the City of the essential role that trees play in terms of their contribution to sustainability and livability. The Regulation requires that existing tree surveys be conducted across the City in order to prepare a comprehensive Tree Database. This Database will then form the basis for a comprehensive Tree Management Plan for Jakarta which will be periodically reviewed based on the regularly updated Tree Database. The participation of the City’s citizens is an essential part of the process, involving them in the collection of information on existing tree conditions as well as potential tree planting locations, and on maintenance measures. The Regulation also provides technical recommendations for existing trees which may be potentially affected by development plans, and for trees which are a potential danger to public or private safety and to real property.
As professional Landscape Architects, we are excited to see Jakarta formalizing what for us has been a decades long commitment to best practice in urban tree management. No less, we are also pleased to see that the Regulation includes for a plan by the Government to plant some 200,000 new trees in Jakarta by the end of 2022. We hope that the Regulation can inspire other cities’ to take similar actions to ensure the urban tree management and preservation are at the forefront of the development agenda moving forward.
- “Guidelines on Tree Preservation during Development”. Greening, Landscape and Tree Management Section Development Bureau. The Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. April 2015.
- Peraturan Gubernur Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Nomor 144 Tahun 2018 Tentang Pengelolaan Tanaman Nusantara Khas Jakarta, December 2018.
- Peraturan Gubernur Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta Nomor 24 Tahun 2021 Tentang Pengelolaan dan Perlindungan Pohon. April 2021.