Residents of Warsaw have different opinions on requests to cut down trees, depending on the project type. These insights are supported by the results of a recent opinion poll. For instance, most residents agreed that the construction of flood control systems is a project which justifies tree cutting.
As many as 80% of residents believe that it is reasonable to cut down trees if they stand in the way of the construction of flood control systems, with 34% of them agreeing strongly and 46% agreeing slightly. Only 18% of respondents* did not support tree cutting for the purposes of building flood control systems.
Similar distribution of answers can also be seen for public transport development projects. As many as 73% of respondents agreed that the construction of the metro, tram or rail lines justified tree cutting. And 25% had a different opinion.
A slightly smaller, but still significant, proportion of Warsaw’s residents (66%) believed that the construction of new public institutions, such as hospitals or schools, justified tree cutting. In this case, 31% of respondents believed otherwise.
In addition, the survey showed that green areas were very important for people living in Warsaw. For example, 60% of Warsaw’s residents believed that it was not OK to cut down trees to build new sports or recreation facilities (38% disagreed slightly, while 22% disagreed strongly). The opinions were even stronger for commercial projects, such as the construction of corporate offices or service-provider buildings, where 88% of respondents were not in favour of cutting down trees for such purposes.
For new roads, the residents were divided almost equally, with almost the same numbers being for and against tree cutting for such purposes (the difference was smaller than the statistical error margin).
Decision by the Mayor of Warsaw deemed correct
In an opinion poll carried out between 7 and 12 February, there were also some questions about the planned tree cutting along Wybrzeże Helskie St. to make room for the construction of flood control along the street.
The poll showed that less than half (45%) of Warsaw’s residents have heard of the planned logging. Slightly more than half (54%) have not heard about it, with as many as 79% of the respondents aged 20–24 being unaware of such plans.
The respondents who said they had heard about the planned logging along Wybrzeże Helskie St. were asked what they thought about the decision on the matter made by Mayor of Warsaw Rafał Trzaskowski. Mayor Trzaskowski decided that the project will proceed but somewhat differently (e.g. there will be no new parking spaces), and the number of the trees to be cut down will be reduced to what is absolutely necessary. 44% of respondents strongly supported, and 40% slightly supported, this decision. Only 12% of respondents were against it.
*The poll was conducted by a company named Kantar on a representative sample of 1,002 residents of Warsaw who were 15 or older, using computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), at the request of the City of Warsaw.