New York's 101 Warren Street "Skyscapes" A Pine Forest

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New York City's 101 Warren St. residential complex includes a green roof with a much bigger than usual "Z" dimension: they're calling it a "mature pine forest." Does this mean that Landscape Architecture has a new offspring called "Skyscaping?" (More on that question below the fold) The designers included a 20,000 square foot 'pine forest,' located five stories above the street level, and which separates the condominium from the rental section of the complex. This forest seems to be contiguous with the children's' play area that itself includes a 700 square foot "maze." The choice of species is probably wise, as will attest anyone who has tried to scale a pine. Not much literal tree hugging or climbing is likely to go on. Plenty of wedding backdrop and modeling photo sessions will, though. Pines being generally of shallow root habit, they may fit well into the "X" and "Y" of their urban habitat. The Skyscapers also must be confident that there will be enough heat loss from the floor below to prevent root freezing: a condition that many pines avoid in nature by benefiting from an insulating snow cover. Ah...signs of an emerging new ecology of climate change. We are left to wonder who will be charged with cleaning up the sap drippings and sweeping up the floor-stuck needles at the end of each summer? Looking so green and hopeful, this roof trips the 'way-back machine' switch to remembrances of the Civilian Conservation Corps (the "CCC") of the 1930's and 40's. Much of the Corps work consisted of planting pine trees in neat rows to help mitigate the then-looming symptom of climate change called the "dust bowl." So, maybe that's it New York! A Civilian Skyscapers Corps. for job creation and climate change mitigation would help you beat San Francisco in the green city championships.

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