Catalytic Action 8: Greening the City: i-Trees

The Executive of Manchester City Council- in effect the “Cabinet” of the 96 seat elected body, has recently accepted a report called the “Call to Action.”

A London-based consultancy called “Beyond Green” wrote the report, (for £32,000 plus expenses), which commits the Council to nine “catalytic actions.”

They are:

  1. World-leading neighbourhood regeneration

  2. Retrofitting Manchester’s civic heritage

  3. A business alliance for climate change

  4. Low carbon energy infrastructure

  5. Low Carbon Communities

  6. A climate-ready Local Development Framework

  7. The Manchester Prize

  8. Greening the City: i-Trees

  9. A green airport

We here at MCFly Towers think that these sorts of things go better with consultation. While we are waiting for the Council to announce just what it is going to do on this question, we will be posting one “catalytic action” per day on the MCFly blog, with a brief analysis. We invite the people of Manchester (and heck, why not beyond) to comment on these. We will pass on your comments to the Council.

That’s not to say the other parts of the report aren’t worthy of comment too- it’s just that we have to start somewhere, and here is as good a place as any…

Catalytic Action 8: Greening the City i-Trees

“Climate change adaptation – ensuring that Manchester enjoys a high quality of life with the advent of already inevitable climate change – is a critical aspect of the City’s plan. Key elements of this include making sure that buildings and public transport can be comfortable at higher temperatures, that the way streets and public spaces are laid out and furnished provide shade and shelter from extremes of weather, and that Manchester can cope with increased frequency of storm events. These will become especially important as the need to mitigate further climate change encourages more people to walk and cycle and supports a culture of being out-and-about in the city.

“The Manchester City South Partnership with Red Rose Forest has developed the “i-Trees” proposal for long-term investment in greening in the City South area which centres on Oxford Road, the busiest road corridor in the North West and a major gateway to the City Centre.”


“A detailed feasibility study has been completed and implementation of the early stages of the project are commencing. In incorporating the project into this Call to
Action, the City Council’s aim is to:
Help accelerate delivery of the programme, corralling a wider body of capacity, expertise and resources to ensure that visible change in the environment is realised as early as possible…”

So, who can argue with planting trees? It’s like motherhood and apple pie. Who could be AGAINST it? And Red Rose Forest has done some very useful work, which should be championed.

But why “i-Tree”.? Was this dreamt up by Beyond Green? Or by RRF? And what IS an ‘i-Tree’? And why on earth should anyone restrain themselves from bursting out laughing as such tosh? Imagine you’re a climate skeptic and you hear someone wittering on about i-Trees? Is that going to confirm all your prejudices or what?


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