Emily DiSalvo, Peter Harrison, and Kevin Kurian of DesegregateCT will discuss how restrictive zoning laws, from minimum lot sizes to a lack of multi-family housing, increase emissions and exacerbate global warming. The group’s research into the link between zoning and the environment will be presented. DesegregateCT will also discuss the potential of policies like transit-oriented communities and minimum lot size reform to create a greener, more equitable Connecticut.

This is a virtual event, please register

DesegregateCT is a pro-homes coalition of neighbors and nonprofits advocating for more equitable, affordable, and environmentally-sustainable land use policies in Connecticut, with a focus on expanding the diversity and supply of our housing stock. Formed in June 2020, in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the renewed conversation on racial justice, their work is about first imagining and then enacting a new vision for local and state land use policies that promotes racial, economic, and climate justice.  They leverage original research and grassroots organizing in service of public education and policy change at both the state and local levels.

The Westport Garden Club welcomes Dr. Peter Del Tredici to speak about spontaneous urban landscaping. Urban ecosystems are the ultimate manifestation of the dynamic interaction between humans and nature—between our desire for neat, orderly landscapes on the one hand and our fear of messy ecological chaos on the other. This presentation will focus on the plants that grow without cultivation in cities and their remarkable ability to flourish in spite of stressful environmental conditions. Cities—along with the plants and animals they support—can be considered "novel" ecosystems that not only reflect a tumultuous past but also preview our unpredictable future. The spontaneous vegetation that inhabits our cities is as cosmopolitan as its people and better adapted to their changing environmental conditions than the native species that once grew there. Like it or not, these novel ecosystems have become the new normal in urban areas and people need to recognize that they not only help make our cities more livable but also help clean up the planet.

 If you misssed the recording, you may view a video recording here

Peter Del Tredici is a botanist specializing in the growth and development of trees. He worked at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University for 35 years and was an Associate Professor in the Landscape Architecture Department at the Harvard Graduate School of Design for 24 years. His widely acclaimed book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide, catalogues the spontaneous vegetation that flourishes in cities and makes the case that it improves the quality of urban life.

Trees
Topiary

 

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