Tree planting

The proposed cities of the future look anything but modern

California Forever is an American 21st-century utopian vision, a new city to be built on 60,000 acres of dusty farmland 50 miles outside San Francisco. This latest plan for ‘safe, walkable neighbourhoods’, unveiled late last year and yet to be approved, is financed by Flannery Associates, a consortium of tech venture capitalists led by a former Goldman Sachs trader. Despite its ultra-modern backers, California Forever looks nothing like a modern city. Its promotional material is pure English nostalgia, something close to Metroland, with dreamlike vistas, charming streets, rowing boats, bicycles, sunrises and endless trees. If renderings are to be believed, the future is Blytonesque. This idyll is the latest expression

Why Boris’s tree planting plans could damage the environment

Tree planting is one of those motherhood-and-apple pie policies that it’s quite hard to argue with. We have a climate crisis, and a dreadful decline in biodiversity, and more trees will help with that. They will restore our denuded landscape to something more natural, and they’re good for our mental health. Only a curmudgeon could carp about tree planting, which is presumably why the main political parties spent the last election having a plant-off about how many trees they want to get in the ground. The government has a target of 30,000 hectares a year across the UK by 2025, and Boris Johnson has been linking his tree ambitions to