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A small alley in Brussels, overflowing with greenery

‘Tree Week’ in Brussels will help the city gain 1,000 new trees during a city-wide campaign

‘Tree Week’ in Brussels will help the city gain 1,000 new trees during a city-wide campaign

Local authorities will hand out the plants to people who want to help make their city get greener

Today, authorities in Brussels launched a campaign called ‘Tree Week’, aiming to make the Belgian capital a greener city. During this week, officials will distribute a total of 1,000 trees to citizens in different neighbourhoods. People participating in the campaign will then have to plant the saplings. The whole campaign will be carried out under the supervision of the city’s Green Spaces Agency, which will contribute additional 200 trees.

The initiative is part of Brussels’ Canopy Plan 2020-2030 (Plan Canopée) aimed at combating climate change and contributing to a more sustainable urban environment. The issue of nature in city policy is now up front and centre, and trees are in the spotlight this week.

Carbon capture – the old fashioned way

To a large extent, Brussels’ Canopy Plan focuses on trees as a source of sustainability, listing some of their major benefits to the environment. For instance, a tree will store up to 120 kilograms of CO2 during its lifetime or capture up to 20 kilograms of fine dust particles each year. On top of that, they make excellent habitats for a variety of animals.

Furthermore, they provide natural air conditioning and can prevent the formation of heat islands. On the other hand, in winter, they act as a barrier to cold wind and lower the cost of heating.

The plan has three main axes: preservation, growth and citizen participation. The city aims to strengthen the preservation efforts of the existing green spaces through the creation of a Boommeester (Tree Master) who will be responsible for the proper implementation of the plan.

Second, local authorities in Brussels want to analyse the city and plant a tree everywhere they can. The third axis is about involving the citizens in the whole process and making greening the city a cause for all of them. This includes a proposed festival of trees.

The planting effort

In the programme for ‘Tree week’, local authorities will distribute 150 trees every day in communities across the city and officials from the Green Spaces Agency will plant a further 200 trees on Sunday. Meanwhile, during the rest of the week, citizens will have the opportunity to take part in guided tours about urban ecology, workshops on pruning trees for the winter and a conference on fruit trees.

Zoubida Jellab, Brussels Alderman for Green Spaces and Public Cleanliness explained the city aims to preserve and densify the plant tissue in public spaces and citizens can play a major role in the rejuvenation plan. They can really help make Brussels greener.

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