Urban forests reduce a variety of health issues, such as respiratory diseases and skin cancer, and promote an active lifestyle, which can reduce obesity.
While trees are working hard for air and water quality, they're also increasing property values, improving business performance and creating jobs.
Trees are often left out of the discussion on urban green infrastructure, yet studies show they have a significant impact on water quality and quantity, in addition to their other benefits.
Urban air pollution causes 200,000 deaths per year in the United States. Trees are a front-line of defense that have been shown to reduce both deaths and respiratory disease.
The common perception that urban vegetation is associated with higher crime can be true, but well-maintained tree canopy can also reduce crime.
The wealth of a community can often be determined by its amount of tree canopy. Well-intentioned tree planting programs often exacerbate this divide.
Transportation recently surpassed electricity production as the largest carbon dioxide emitter. Trees can reduce environmental impact while calming traffic, encouraging walking, decreasing aggressive driving and extending the life of pavement.
Exposure to nature has shown various impacts on students, from improved academic performance and focus to reduced ADHD symptoms.
“Planners who succeed tend to be opportunistic... It is, in a way, a creative awareness of the many linkages that exist among the variety of social, political, environmental, and economic issues that confront planners in their everyday work.”
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Nature doesn't end where the latest technologies begin. They are used to design, analyze, monitor and grow the urban forest.
With more trees removed from urban areas than National Forests, urban wood reuse in legacy cities can ignite new industrial economies that create jobs, improve ecosystems, and reduce environmental impact.
You can apply lessons from the Baltimore experience in your own community.
Trees and urban forests endure multiple sources of stress. Most can be handled through proper planting and regular maintenance. But every community at some point will endure an event that creates catastrophic stress, a disaster. It may be fire, hurricanes, flooding, wind and ice storms or epidemics of tree-killing pests and disease. What happens then, depends on what you’re doing now.
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