Industrial areas have a lot of impervious surface. Since 2010, the Environmental Services Tree Program has made over 600 concrete cut-outs for trees, mostly for commercial and industrial projects. Altogether, the cut-outs removed nearly 14,000 square feet of concrete and allow for additional stormwater infiltration.
Central Eastside and Northwest Industrial Districts
With lots of cement, big parking lots, and expansive rooftops, industrial areas are major contributors to stormwater runoff, air pollution, and the urban heat island effect (when pavement and building materials absorb energy from the sun and release it as heat). They can also be tricky places to plant trees.
The Environmental Services Tree Program has worked closely with property owners and tenants to find solutions for trees in these areas: providing concrete cut-outs, avoiding loading zones, and adjusting tree placement to keep building names and signage visible. We also provide care for the trees while they are getting established in their new surroundings.
Resolving these issues takes good communication, flexibility, and the willingness to try something new. Thanks to receptive partners, we have planted nearly 600 new trees in the Central Eastside and Northwest industrial districts.
Central Eastside Industrial District before and after trees
Lombard and NE 42nd Avenue Mixed-Use Corridors
The Portland Plan, adopted in 2012, emphasizes a healthy and connected city that encourages active transportation and integrates nature into neighborhoods. Trees in commercial and mixed-use corridors are an important element of this vibrant vision for the future.
Trees improve the character of commercial areas, drawing more customers in
and encouraging them to stay longer.
There’s something in it for business owners, too: research has found that people are willing to travel further and pay more to do business in areas with lots of trees. Because trees can take decades to mature, creating the future we want has to start now. We’ve worked with businesses, multi-family residential complexes, and neighborhood associations along Lombard and NE 42nd Avenue to start growing the active, green corridors of the future, today.
Trees provide a barrier between busy roads and sidewalk traffic and encourage drivers to slow down.