Red Fences, White Flags

Dora Medveczky and Fabio Spink

The city as an extreme habitat

Trees play a substantial role in the regulation of a city’s climate. Yet, these natural air conditioners and fresh air dispensers are under threat. Various factors disrupt the life cycle of many urban trees and weaken their immune system. White flags, installed on site, draw attention to this and provide information about such hidden knowledge.

(c) Dora Medveczky and Fabio Spink

Urban trees are silent companions of the lives of all city dwellers. They represent nature in the city, they serve as air purifiers, shade providers, oversized umbrellas, orientation aids, contemporary witnesses, increasingly important protagonists of political campaigns as well as food and habitat for numerous animals in the city.

Trees play an important role in regulating the climate. Through photosynthesis, they extract CO2 from the air and release oxygen. At the same time, they utilize the resulting glucose by storing it as carbon in the wood. The older a tree is, the more CO2 is stored in its wood.

Climate change can be experienced first-hand in the city with heat waves and cold snaps in winter. Less visible are the effects on street trees. Climate change is making their already tough living conditions even more difficult. Street trees suffer from attacks by bacteria and fungi with which they would live in harmony in nature. Ailing and unstable trees in the city have to be felled for safety reasons and are replaced by young trees.

By intervening at clearing sites in the city, white flags communicate a need for negotiation. Information about the background is made accessible on site.

Summer Semester 20/21
Dora Medveczky and Fabio Spink