August 12, 2014

Leave the palm trees alone!

Palm trees get a bum wrap these days. People say they don't provide shade, they aren't native to Los Angeles, they use too much water etc. But I think palm trees can sometimes play a role in defining public space and the "outdoor room" on the street and they make good accent trees. And certain types of palms, when clustered together can provide a decent amount of shade. In the example below the enclosed mall does not front on (or interact with) the sidewalk. The palm trees on this block help to make up for that lack of building frontage and provide a comforting sense of enclosure for pedestrians. They also add height and visual interest. It would of course be better if the building opened to the the sidewalk rather than relying on a landscaping band-aid. (Side note: That bus stop blocks the entire sidewalk and should be moved a few feet into the landscaped area.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's not all palm trees in general that are terrible, it's mostly the ones that are a 5 story pole with a little mop of leaves at the top. Smaller type palm trees are okay, because they can be appreciated from up close, whereas the tall pole ones are really meant for looking at from a passing car. Especially since those leaves will sometimes fall, possibly on your head.