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The Urban Forest

Ciaran Frame, composer, media artist and educator
Giuliana Leslie, Project Officer – Urban Forest and Ecology | Parks and City Greening, City of Melbourne

Kate Barber

As part of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy, over 70,000 trees were assigned individual IDs and email addresses to allow people to report on their condition. An unexpected result was that people from around the world started writing personal letters to the trees, including love letters, musings on life and bad tree jokes. In this episode we learn about the City of Melbourne’s Urban Forest Strategy and hear a few of the love letters written to the trees. We also speak with composer Ciaran Frame, whose sound installation and performative work titled ‘The Urban Forest’, situates the audience in a multi-sensory, experiential world, foregrounding and celebrating the diversity of tree species using the City of Melbourne’s data on every living tree in the Melbourne CBD. Through this work Frame seeks to answer the question ‘what if trees could make music, what would they sound like and what would they say?’.

City of Melbourne Urban Forest Strategy
City of Melbourne Urban Forest Visual
Ciaran Frame, The Urban Forest
Ciaran Frame, website
Livia Gershon, ‘The Tree Huggers who saved India’s Forest’, JSTOR Daily, March 2019.
Margaret Burin, ‘People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees’, ABC, December 2018.