Urban Green Spaces

Black Locust Lumber has developed a wide range of green building lumber solutions for urban green spaces, parks, sustainable playgrounds, rooftops, woodlands, and more.

The 606 Bloomingdale Trail, Chicago, Illinois

Why Urban Green Spaces?

Urban Green Spaces increase the quality of urban living, enhance local resilience and promote sustainable lifestyles. They ensure residents have adequate opportunities for exposure to nature. It is therefore necessary to ensure that we use green building materials as close to nature as possible.

Black Locust is a green, renewable source of carbon-sequestering building material that will help address environmental, social and economic issues. Black Locust wood is naturally durable, rot-resistant, and maintenance-free. It is not required to use chemicals, oils, or any other additives to preserve its beauty.

Black Locust Lumber has an extensive portfolio including elevated pathways to woodlands and wetlands, green roofs, higher education campuses, sustainable playgrounds, botanical gardens, and parks. Contact us to elevate your sustainable design project with Black Locust Decking, Proflow Permeable Pavers, Site Furnishings, Architectural Elements green lumber products.

WingField Pines | Allegheny Land Trust

Green spaces benefit cities & urban quality of life

Over 80% of people are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. At the same time, the loss of green spaces (parks, forests, and even front yards) in urban areas is growing radically.

People can utilize urban green spaces for recreational activities. Green spaces build resilience to heat stress and flood risk and improve air and water quality. They have several positive benefits on urban quality of life.

A good example is Louis Nine House, Bronx NYC which created a green community space on the roof of a four-story apartment building that gives home to young adults coming out of the foster care system.

The rooftop provides a lush atmosphere and creates an active urban oasis, a community space, and a retreat for the young residents with integrated Black Locust benches and planters.

Black Locust built-in benches, planters and vertical walls at Louis Nine House, Ther Bronx NY by David J. Lewis and Parsons The New School for Design

Black Locust Lumber benches at The Somerville Community Growing Center in Massachusetts

Green Spaces deliver positive impact on health and well-being

Green spaces’ positive impact on physical and mental health have a direct economic value. Green spaces encourage people to get outside in the open. And while they help with staying active, exposure to green areas produces positive reactions in the brain that reduce depression and anxiety.

The Somerville Community Growing Center in Massachusetts is an urban oasis that was designed and built by local residents and hosts concerts, sustainable educational programs, festivals and all sorts of outdoor recreational events.

Green spaces upgrade the social and environmental qualities of cities

Green spaces act as a catalyst for economic growth and tourism. Compared to grey areas, there is an increase of 83% of more social activity in green areas.

They are prioritised as destinations among citizens and tourists and generate a strong feeling of social inclusion. Small businesses prefer the proximity of green space when choosing a new business location.

The Chicago Navy Pier has become a world-class destination and also a center of activity and culture after its renovation. Residents come here because of the contemporary architectural pavilions, water features, vegetation, and social spaces and seating areas. Due to its environmental qualities, it even gained LEED Sites and Silver Certification.

Black Locust Lumber handrails at the Chicago Navy Pier by nArchitects

Black Locust Lumber exterior siding of the building at Railroad Park in Birmingham, Alabama by Tom Leader Studio

They make disadvantaged and deprived areas more livable and enjoyable

Children who grow up in areas of green space have better attention and memory skills. Urban green spaces can make disadvantaged areas more livable.

The greatest benefits have been shown amongst people from lower social-economic groups, where health inequalities are lower for those that live in greener urban areas.


Downtown Birmingham has 19 acres of green space at Railroad Place, which has become an ideal place for residents to go for recreational activities. It has playgrounds, outdoor gyms and running trails to encourage physical activities.

Green spaces contribute to city branding and identity

Urban greening presents a good opportunity to contribute to a positive image of the city. Urban green spaces will reduce the heat island effect and the impact of flooding.

Green roofs and vegetated surfaces for example reduce the volume of surface water runoff.

Via Verde in South Bronx, NY has gained a LEED Gold Certificate for its green roofs. The green roofs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also encourage gardening activities for residents, thus promoting a healthier and sustainable lifestyle.

Black Locust Lumber railings on balconies and planters at Via Verde in South The Bronx, NY by Dattner Architects

Longevity

Black Locust is rot-resistant due to its natural genetic makeup. Natural rot-resistance, water-resistance, and anti-fungal properties give Black Locust a lifetime of 50+ years. Its durability and strength make it an excellent and long-lasting landscape surface.

Water Quality

Proflow Permeables reduce stormwater runoff and replenish groundwater systems by allowing water percolation between pavers. Pollutants are filtered out during natural bio-filtering processes, improving water quality. In addition, permeability reduces flooding and refreezing. Water infiltration rates of up to 123 inches per hour can be achieved using joint filler ASTM No.8.

Heat Island Effect

The light color and material properties of Black Locust make it a cooler alternative to concrete and other landscape surfaces, thus reducing the heat island effect. The heat island effect is the difference in temperature between a developed area and natural area. The addition of plants or moss between the pavers can help further reduce the heat absorbed by the ground covering.

Carbon Positive Product

Black Locust has many environmental advantages. Carbon sequestration occurs naturally in Black Locust, and its durability allows this sequestration to exceed beyond 50 years. Our Black Locust products are minimally processed during the manufacturing, therefore, our CO2 emissions are greatly reduced.

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