Seeing Trees: A History of Street Trees in New York City and Berlin

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Product Details

Yale University Press
Publish Date
7.3 X 10.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.75 pounds

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About the Author

Sonja Dümpelmann is associate professor of landscape architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and author or editor/co-editor of several books, including the 2015 John Brinkerhoff Jackson Book Prize-winner Flights of Imagination: Aviation, Landscape, Design.


"Dümpelmann tracks the history of the modern street tree . . . A deep, scholarly dive into urban society's need for--and relationship with--trees that sought to return the natural world to the concrete jungle."--Adrian Higgins, Washington Post
"Fascinating and well-illustrated . . . a compelling narrative . . . Dümpelmann brings an accessible writing style and admirable curiosity . . . authoritative and original . . . she extends the boundaries of landscape history . . . Seeing Trees will serve as an important reference point for urban and landscape history in the future."--Mark Favermann, Arts Fuse
"Fascinating."--M. J. Stone, Choice
Seeing Trees has won the 2019 John Brinckerhoff Jackson prize, sponsored by the Foundation for Landscape Studies

"In this imaginative and deeply researched work, Sonja Dümpelmann truly helps us to 'see trees' in the careful chronologies she develops and the political messages that these trees represented within their times and places."--Keith Morgan, Boston University
"In Seeing Trees the distinguished scholar Sonja Dümpelmann employs her linguistic ability, knowledge, and imaginative use of the archival resources in both Berlin and New York to extend the boundaries of landscape history."--Kenneth Helphand, University of Oregon, author of Defiant Gardens: Making Gardens in Wartime
"Sonja Dümpelmann distills a rich and textured history of street trees--the people involved, technical approaches employed, and the way street trees served as both a polemic and as a point of unification for people."--Susan Herrington, author of Landscape Theory in Design
"This meticulously researched and beautifully illustrated book chronicles the multifaceted identities of trees--as food, fuel, shelter, and defense--and offers us new ways of reading social history into the natural world."--Jennifer S. Light, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
"A signal contribution to the history of landscape design and city planning. Writing with narrative verve, Sonja Dümpelmann turns rigorous scholarship into a fascinating story of time and place for both the academic and general reader."--Elizabeth Barlow Rogers, President, Foundation for Landscape Studies