Completion of the Hudson Square Standard

About the Hudson Square Standard

In April 2022, the Hudson Square  BID (HSBID) officially completed its Hudson Square Standard (HSS) tree program – a ground-breaking, neighborhood-level approach to urban forestry.

The BID launched the HSS program in 2013, in partnership with the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the New York Tree Trust (NYTT), to plant and retrofit trees throughout the Hudson Square neighborhood using a unique tree pit design that bolsters tree health and yields major environmental and public health benefits.

The HSS program builds upon the BID’s efforts to improve the street-level experience and make the neighborhood more pedestrian-friendly. HSS trees now grow on every eligible block of the neighborhood, comprising a local forest of 500+ trees and 23 different species.

Designed by New York-based landscape architecture firm Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects (MNLA), the HSS reimagined the potential for urban sidewalks and street tree planting.

The award-winning design includes:

• Expanded tree pits flanked by permeable pavers

• Distinctive tree guards that create a cohesive neighborhood identity

• Selection of trees that thrive in urban settings and our local microclimate

The enlarged tree pits are connected by a subsurface trench filled with structural soil and covered by permeable pavers. These enlarged and connected tree pits provide more room for tree roots to grow, fostering larger and healthier trees. The permeable pavers serve as a porous surface to retain excess stormwater, a critical intervention that helps relieve the city’s overburdened sewer system and mitigate flooding.


Different kinds of trees planted or retrofitted

23 different kinds of trees were planted or retrofitted by the HSS. Learn about some of the most interesting trees here. 

By the Numbers 

532 Hudson Square Standard Trees 

90,000lbs. of carbon are captured each year. A single tree reduces carbon in the atmosphere by 1,000 lbs/year. That’s the same as the carbon footprint of a flight from NYC to Miami!

55,000 lbs. of oxygen produced per year. A single tree produces enough oxygen for 34 Hudson Square locals.  

5.6M gal. of stormwater captured per year That’s more than 8 Olympic sized swimming pools!

HSS trees on average grow 12% faster than those planted with the city standard.


The Hudson Square Standard has been recognized and received the following awards:

2013 –  Norman Buchbinder Placemaking Award

2014 –  American Society of Landscape Architects Merit Award

2015 – The Hudson Square Standard was included as the preferred tree treatment in Laying the Groundwork, the design guidelines for affordable housing projects issued by the Design Trust for Public Space.

2015 – Municipal Art Society Best New Urban Amenity Award

2015 International Downtown Association Merit Award for Planning

2021 – Included in the NYC Urban Forest Agenda


Hudson Square is Putting Down Roots

Hudson Square is Now

Hudson Street

Hudson Square Standard Booklet

Hudson Square

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