Canopy Equity

The number of urban trees is shrinking due to storms, construction and insects: at the moment, the US is facing a projected loss of 8.3% in urban tree cover by 2060. Photograph: Mary Altaffer/AP

Regardless of the viability of tree-planting as a solution to climate change, the need for more trees in some locations is overwhelming:

US needs 30m new trees to combat shade disparity, study finds

First ever nationwide tally of trees reveals how communities of color and poorer neighborhoods lack canopy

With vast swathes of the American west baking under a record-setting heatwave, a new study has revealed how unevenly trees are spread throughout cities in the United States and how much it disadvantages communities of color and the poor.

In order to address the balance, America needs to plant more than 30 million trees in major urban environments across the country, according to a major new report.

The first-ever nationwide tally of trees, known as the Tree Equity Score, combines several metrics, including socioeconomics, population density and existing tree cover. Their goal is to show which locations have enough trees for optimal health and economic benefits.

The study examined 3,810 municipalities, including 150,000 neighborhoods and 486 cities with at least 50,000 residents across the country. It found that in order to establish tree equity, cities need to plant about 31.4 million trees – about a 10% increase from the tree cover of today…

Read the whole article here.

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