Belgian builders create underground parking lot around 100-year-old tree

Builders in the Belgian city of Bruges are creating an underground car park around a 100-year-old tree. Footage filmed on May 3 showed the red beech standing on an island of earth as the excavators worked all around it expanding a concert hall parking lot. "The city had promised local residents to preserve the trees and nature as much as possible as it was," says Jan Hoste, project manager of the works on the parking lot. "We are not only taking the old beech into account in the plans, but a little further down there are a number of old trees, which we are also avoiding," he added. According to tree management expert Jelle Devos, preserving trees is crucial to the urban environment. "We cannot replace that beech with new and smaller trees. It would take years for those new trees to absorb as much CO2 or particulate matter as the old beech," he said.