Experimenting, empowering and manufacturing with wood from urban tree pruning: bridging human needs and waste valuing through cascading use.
Urban afforestation plays an imperative role in the quality of life and sustainability in cities, thus deserving efforts in its planning, management and expansion. But what happens to the residues from the pruning and maintenance of these trees? The great part ends up in landfills or is used as composting and energy fuel – alternatives that do not exploit the potential of such raw material. How many species of enormous wealth and diversity are being wasted or underutilized! Design can give answers to this situation! As a problem-solving oriented activity, with support of sistemic thinking, Design can contribute to a more efficient circulation of urban wood through all social strata. The “Dapoda: Design Living Lab” aims to create and implement a pilot project that values the wood from tree pruning (branches and whole tree suppressions) of the urban forest of São Paulo. We’ll start by analysing the amount of residue and its different qualities, looking for possibilities on making products and utilitary components, promoting new ways to employ this raw materials, and integrating with circular economy principles. The methods and processes involved with the valuing of tree pruning waste will then be systemized, in a way that this knowledge can be transmitted through professional qualification courses and workshops, focusing on vulnerable communities, and in collaboration with external partners. These experiences will tackle testing and development of projects, products and services that bring economic, social and environmental impact in a structural way.