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New multi-family, low-rise dwelling in Seattle, with little room for green infrastructure.

It’s no secret that Seattle currently is one of the country’s top boom towns. Strong job growth is attracting many new residents to the region and has a created development frenzy in the city. In residential neighborhoods, small, old, single-family homes—with mature trees—are being replaced by low-rise, multi-family units—with little room for any vegetation—to meet the demand.

When thoughtfully done, urban redevelopment can be a good thing, but one of the silent casualties of the new upsurge in construction is our urban forest.

In the latest issue of the Arboretum Bulletin, Cass Turnball discusses the importance of preserving our city’s green infrastructure during the development boom. She advocates for a smarter version of the “smart growth” urban planning philosophy—one that achieves both our green space and density goals by “building up, not out” within the city.