Montage of images of Székesfehérvár.

Montage of images of Székesfehérvár. Credit: Közkincs/Wikimedia

Project Location:
Székesfehérvár, Hungary

Key Activities:

  • Planting 195 trees to improve safety and recreation in an urban area
  • Enhancing an urban forest for residents, including increasing recreation and reducing the urban heat island effect

Project Description:
Working with the Székesfehérvár mayor’s office, Alcoa Foundation and American Forests are replacing dying trees throughout popular housing divisions in Székesfehérvár with more suitable trees to improve safety while enhancing and strengthening the urban forest.

Why This Project:
During a period of heavy urban development in the 1950s, many Székesfehérvár housing communities were designed with urban parks and recreation in mind, as the planners created green, shaded space in a variety of neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the poplar trees used have declined rapidly in recent years — posing safety risks to the area’s residents.

This project is replacing the declining trees with varieties with longer lifespans to help maintain and increase the urban recreation spaces. These trees also provide the added benefit of additional shade, which will help alleviate some of the area’s urban heat island effect, wherein an abundance of paved surfaces reflect sunlight and heat.

Why Székesfehérvár Housing Developments:
By planting trees in residential neighborhoods, a number of social and environmental benefits are being experienced. Trees in communities reduce air and noise pollution, while cooling the surrounding pavement and housing. They also provide more pleasant conditions for recreation, as the trees in this project are shading bike lanes, a popular fishing lake and more. The trees are also helping educate the local students, as they are assisting with the trees’ maintenance as part of their curriculum.