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Lisbon is replacing every dead tree with two new living ones

The policy should eventually double the number of trees in the Portuguese capital

Sophie Dickinson
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Sophie Dickinson

We all know that trees are seriously good for the environment. They clean the air, reduce heat and encourage biodiversity. But, inevitably, even the best-cared-for trees die. Rather than leave the fallen trunks at that, though, the Portuguese capital of Lisbon is replacing every dead tree with two more living ones.

It’s a simple idea, but one that will eventually double the number of trees in the city. And it’s been passed as an official municipal policy, so has to be properly enforced. And it’s not just city authorities who have to get involved. Citizens will also have to replace any diseased or dead trees with two new ones, as close to the original site as possible. Plus, if you fancy planting new shrub or tree specimens, you’ve got to apply to Lisbon City Council – and species that are more resistant to climate change will be privileged. 

Some cities are going even further than Lisbon. Milan is planning to plant three million trees by 2030 – one for every citizen – which is one hell of a target. Plus, Paris is planting four new ‘urban forests’ right next to major landmarks like the Hôtel de Ville. However cities choose to do it, we’re just happy they’re getting greener.

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