The City of Dallas covers 396 square miles; it’s the ninth largest in the United States. But it’s also one of the hottest and heating up more quickly than any other city in the US except Louisville and Phoenix. This study, authored by Professor Brian Stone at Georgia Tech, suggests that increasing urban tree canopy may be twice as effective in curbing heat islands effects than other strategies. Key findings from the study:
- Tree planting and preservation in Dallas can change the weather – producing cooler days and nights than will occur if tree canopy continues to be lost.
- The benefits of greening strategies can be as high as 15°F of cooling in some areas on hot summer days.
- Tree planting and preservation can save lives when implemented in concert with more reflective roofing and paving materials, with these combined strategies found to reduce the number of deaths from hot weather by more than 20%.
- Tree planting and preservation was found to be more than 3.5 times as effective in lowering temperatures as cool materials strategies.
- Dallas can achieve significant cooling and health benefits by planting 250,000 trees.