The book, authored by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli, inspects the history of trees in Indian cities while also exploring culture and science along the way.

Cities and Canopies a book on history of trees in Indian cities released in Bengaluru
news Books Friday, June 21, 2019 - 14:39

Cities and Canopies: Trees in Indian Cities, a book authored by Harini Nagendra and Seema Mundoli that delves into the topic of trees in Indian cities, was released in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Published by Penguin Random House, the book is available in book stores and on websites like Amazon and Flipkart. The authors are both faculty at Azim Premji University.

From the tree planted by Sarojini Naidu at Dehradun’s clock tower to those planted by Sher Shah Suri and Jahangir on the Grand Trunk Road, the book inspects the history of trees in Indian cities while also exploring culture and science along the way.

Harini and Seema read short excerpts from the book followed by a conversation with Prof Gadagkar, and a discussion with the audience. Speaking to the audience on what inspired them to write a book on cities and trees, Harini lamented the loss of tree cover and the increase in heat and pollution in cities.

“As scientists and educators, we need to make sure we communicate the latest advances in research to a wide range of people. At the same time, as individuals we relate to trees in so many ways, through food, culture, games and folktales. We wanted to share with our readers the same sense of excitement and passion we have for trees, while also taking them on a journey of discovery,” she said.

Seema added that the book was a result of their memories and stories connected to trees. “We have shared our own memories and stories, which helped us connect to trees and which translated into a love for nature persisting well into our adulthood. Keeping this in mind we have focused on a positive and joyful narrative around trees, hoping that the book inspires encounters with trees that will do the same for children today.”

Those attending the event received tree colouring booklets, postcards and artwork from the book designed by Alisha Dutt Islam. The audience also shared their favourite tree memories and took part in a quiz.

“Cities and Canopies is the result of extensive research by my colleagues Harini and Seema. Their work in the area of urban sustainability is significant but when they convert their study into such delightful books, they perform an important public service,” S Giridhar, COO of Azim Premji University, said.

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