At the end of the symposium organized in 2018, we launched an initiative called “Tree Avenues - Horizon 2030”. We retained three important keywords: link, knowledge, events.
By their very nature, tree avenues constitute a physical link between two points. They trace routes, even valued touristic routes such as the German Deutsche Alleenstraße, and precious ecological corridors.
Tree avenues create temporal links: today’s tree-lined streets and roads take us back to the “French-style” garden of the 17th century; memorial avenues where people honour the soldiers for whom avenue trees were planted take us back to 1914–18.
Tree avenues form symbolic links: the avenue planted in 2014 on both sides of the German-Polish border in a program called “Make avenues – not borders” is an example. Symbolic links are doubled with human links. And these effortlessly transcend geographical distances.
This makes avenues perfect carriers of the values of cohesion and peace. “Horizon 2030” we are aiming at is an horizon with more avenues, and qualitative avenues, i.e. more physical links, more symbolic links, more human links.
Knowledge is essential if we want to preserve avenues in the long term.
We need precise know-how in terms of management to counter the disappearance of trees and avenues.
We need to know where we can find our avenues, we need to be able to recognize them when only a few trees are left, in order to be able to acknowledge their value, to prevent their disappearance, or to replant them.
We need to know the characteristics of tree avenues in general and of each avenue in particular to reconcile the technical imperatives of trees and roads with their historical / cultural interest, their environmental interest, and their social interest (as is required under the terms of article L350-3 of the French Environmental code).
Breaking down divisions, sharing knowledge between different kinds of stakeholders—the man in the street, elected officials, and professionals—and between different kinds of professionals—experts in arboriculture, biologists, landscapers, developers, road managers etc—, and building together is crucial for quality projects and to avoid conflicts.
Events are absolutely necessary to fight against attrition of memory, due to things being forgotten or becoming banal, and to keep heritage alive and visible in the community.
The participants in the conference listed 58 actions they have already undertaken or would be interested in taking part in. They could all be related to one of the key-words “link”, “knowledge”, “events”
Link: Planting avenues - Creating or managing touristic routes -Twinning avenues and linking people together
Knowledge: Inventories and studies - Sharing knowledge - Crossing disciplines & building together
Events: Dynamic events (circulating in avenues) - Static events (artistic) - Linking events to each other