Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings

Urban Forest: Tree Banner Design Contests Sprout in U.S. Cities

Apr 13, 2011 07:31PM

Banners created by local designers, artists and students are appearing on light posts at high-traffic locations throughout cities participating in the Urban Forest Project. Each banner’s design must be a metaphor for the tree, a symbol of sustainability, and a visual statement about valuing the environment.

Originally conceived by Worldstudio to promote going green and bring life to light posts in New York City’s Times Square in 2006, the project has taken root in Albuquerque, Baltimore, Denver, Portland, Oregon, and Toledo, Ohio. New, colorfully eco-conscious tree banners will be sprouting this spring in San Francisco, Tacoma, Washington, and Washington, D.C.

“We anticipate the artwork and banners… will act as a visual awareness of the importance of maintaining a healthy canopy in not only our city, but throughout the world,” says former Mayor Adrian M. Fenty.

After they were removed from Times Square, the banners were recycled into one-of-a-kind tote bags, with sales proceeds going to mentoring programs and the creative arts in New York City. Initially, “That was supposed to be the end of the story, except the project apparently had resonance with a lot of people from different communities,” says Andréa Pellegrino, of Worldstudio. “We started receiving unsolicited outreach from communities all over the world.”

Learn more at

Subscribe to our national newsletter!

* indicates required
Global Brief
Health Brief