Included in Nassau’s 2010 Master Plan is an initiative to improve the aesthetic and environmental performance of their downtown area through the repurposing of medians. Landscaping medians along arterial roadways and in use as parking lot buffers can improve the physical appearance and the environmental performance of a city.
Trees in parking areas can provide shade and reduce heat generated by large areas of asphalt. This is a simple measure to combat the larger issues of heat island effect and climate change mitigation. Planting areas also allow rain to percolate into the ground, improving surface and near-shore water quality by reducing storm water run-off.
A second curb can be raised on the surface of the median to increase the depth of the soil available to trees. Known as a double curb, this second curb on top of road median surfaces allows for greater depth of soil; this enables medium-height trees to be planted and increases retention of storm water. Medium-height trees can provide a great source of shade and reduction in pollution than smaller trees.