One of the key aims of the proposals for the public realm masterplan is to create balanced, well defined and pleasant public spaces. Much of this will be achieved, where appropriate, through greening the streets and squares which will make up the regenerated public realm. Primary greening will be achieved by establishing a hierarchy of structural tree planting. Trees will be used to express streets, squares and edges in order to define spaces and corridors. They will also frame views and screen existing poor aspects. Trees will also have a sheltering role to play in reducing the impact of wind turbulence in streets and squares and at the base of tall buildings. Trees will be planted as semi-mature specimens to achieve maximum visual impact at day one. All tree planting will be clear stemmed trees to enable surveillance of the site during Stadium event days and provide clear wayfinding.$
Generally, street trees will have a fastigiate or upright habit, allowing maximum levels of light to penetrate the street. This will also help to increase a sense of townscape legibility by clearly defining routes, ways & edges. Tree planting along Wood Street would comprise of single species planting of Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’ (Lime) or Acer campestre ‘Elsrijk’ (Field Maple) both of which have a distinctly conical habit.
Within Central Square, Marland Street and Millennium Walkway trees are arranged at key junctions to frame the central square, create dwell space or allow views along key approaches. Trees will selected with larger spreading canopies to soften the massing of tall buildings, with light permeable canopies to create dappled shade with seating opportunities beneath. Trees will be selected from large growing species such as Quercus palustris (Pin Oak), Platanus x acerifolia (London Plane), Quercus rubra (Red Oak), Alnus cordata (Italian Alder). The opportunity to exploit the natural characteristics of tree form, leaf and seasonal colour has been considered, particularly as a backdrop to the proposed media centre on Plot 3. Quercus palustris and Alnus cordata have distinctive form and attractive autumn colour whilst Quercus rubra has vibrant red autumn colour. Low level evergreen shrub planting is provided in limited areas integrated with bench seating positioned facing onto Central Square and Central Street.