The skyscraper of trees

I don’t know if you have ever seen a redwood tree.

The redwoods are known as the ‘skyscraper of trees’ because they can grow to up to 120 meters in height. They are so broad that roads have been (horrifically!) carved through them – and the oldest redwood tree is believed to be 2000 years old.

While the Australian eucalypt has a beauty that tells us we are home, the American redwood creates a sense of awe and wonder that can never be forgotten.

What is fascinating about these trees is not their height but their root systems – because the roots for redwoods are no more than five to six meters deep.

It sparks the question, how do trees grow so tall with root systems so shallow? The answer is that the root systems of the redwoods are intertwined with the roots of the other trees. It is the interconnectedness with others that makes them strong enough to withstand wind and flood.

We focus a great deal on cities – because when our cities are thriving, it can help us all reach heights and achieve things that we simply could not do alone.

When our cities work, our economies thrive and our communities flourish because we are connected to jobs and each other.

Our cities best work when there is deep connectedness between our business, infrastructure, and our homes.

The modern city is a man-made ecosystem – in its own way just as complex, robust and fragile as its natural equivalent. For in our cities, we see the skills, needs, ambitions and hopes of countless people into close proximity with each other and each in their own way, help others thrive.

Our task is to help shape these great ecosystems – it means encouraging housing that is affordable, infrastructure that are accessible, jobs that are plentiful and investment that is available so that our cities, along with us, can continue to grow and renew.