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AmeriCorps members planting a tree in an urban environment. Modern tree management ordinances have increased their scope to include tree protection plans for developments, standards for land clearing, parking lot shading, and other new approaches.
Photo credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service

Green laws inherently reflect an understanding that good community design will allow nature to perform a number of environmental services, many of them essential to sustaining and fulfilling human life. Often referred to as ecosystem services, they include the provision of clean water, maintenance of livable climates, pollination of vegetation, and maintenance of biodiversity, among many others. Green laws now increasingly require that local planning decisions do not lead to the obliteration of such services. A unique feature of most of the ...

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