Dano, who drops by here on occasion has a paper, Urban forests and solar power generation: partners in urban heat island mitigation, in the International Journal of Low Carbon Technologies
The urban forest is generally decreasing in areal extent. At the same time, human population is urbanizing and urban areal extent per capita is increasing. Eighty percent of North Americans are now living in urbanized areas. Urban forests directly affect quality of life for residents of cities via the ecosystem services and psychosocial restoration they provide. The urban forest canopy is a key component of reducing the urban heat island, slowing stormwater runoff and making urban environments more efficient and livable. Municipalities in North America are reacting to concerns about urbanization and economic trends by permitting an increasing number of compact developments that may conflict with beneficial Green Infrastructure. Compact development may also present challenges to solar access for solar power generation. This paper identifies and illustrates key strategies to increase urban forest cover and decrease infrastructure conflicts by implementing given innovative design details, detailing specific zoning and code language, and providing best practices from multiple disciplines. These strategies to increase urban forest canopy cover frame a coherent set of ideas to decrease the effects of the urban heat island, increase solar power generation and improve urban quality of life in cities.Among the interesting points is that the virtuous circle works for solar power installations in housing, if your neighbor has one, you rapidly become envious. Anyone who has walked in a city knows that the urban forest is a major plus, better smelling (cleaner) air, huge cooling effect during a hot summer and just damn calming and nice to look at. But all is not well, trees will shade solar installations, and so the problem becomes can we have it all and write zoning/construction codes that give it to us.
Let Eli point out one place where he and Dano disagree. The later writes
Parking lots afford an excellent opportunity to achieve heat island reduction and canopy cover goals. A commitment must be made to allow for fewer parking stalls, as a parking surface area must be reduced and dedicated to tree roots. Progressive jurisdictions may be able to easily make these commitments, as there is growing indication that many areas in the USA may be providing too much parking for various reasonsSo many years ago Eli and a buddy found about 100K for a liquid nitrogen tank at the Uni. Went to the Dean of Engineering to pitch the thing, and the only issue
was "Not if it costs parking spots"