Maple Trees vs. Sidewalk - how to make the trees win?

Hi everyone, just started reading this site, lots of great advice (I loved the Salted Lawn thread - sorry you had to go through that John but hope your lawn's doing better!)
We have two lovely old maples in front of our house in the parking strip. There are several along the street, all probably planted 1907 when the street was done and the homes built. The trees are outgrowing the strip now, the sidewalk is starting to buckle in places (not as badly as it is elsewhere on the street).
Our neighbor is a cement contractor and suggested moving the sidewalk further toward our homes; my initial idea was to build up the earth under the sidewalk (make the sidewalk taller) to give the roots more growing space. Has anyone here done anything similar?
I'm also a little concerned since another neighbor's maple was cut down (disease? age?) about a decade ago. The trees keep our house cool in summer besides their other aesthetic and ecosystem benefits, so I want to keep them.
Can anyone here give advice on: - Urban maple tree expected life span? - Trees and sidewalks coexisting in peace?
Thanks! Flores
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They recently modernized our downtown area (small town) and redid the sidewalks, streets, and parking. Part of the work was to install oak trees in small islands. Looks pretty, but it is 'temporary' since the trees will have to be replaced every 15 years. Trees and sidewalks do not coexist in peace - one or the other will dominate. KC
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EVERY 15 YEARS?? Why? The trees will be too wide for the tiny grates they put them in?
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Flores wrote:

I see a city government spending your tax dollars in order to beautify a street. I see a city government who feels as if they have an unlimited supply of tax dollars to spend. I feel your pain.
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alvin wrote:

it is all here as it was written.
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Jim wrote:

Must be more of that special code that lets some people know what's on the "hidden agenda" that no one else can see.
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Elmo wrote:

Right..perhaps they've changed the name of operation Garden Plot, to operation Maple Tree. Or maybe they are talking about real city maple trees grown in the sidewalk planters that die every fifteen years as they become too large for their allotted space and soil..who knows?
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Grizzly wrote:

I envision Flores was making a statement concerning dissatisfaction with the current method of management. at any rate, the reckoned value of the statement made by the OP will elude us until the OP provides further explanation.
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