Healthy trees are valuable assets for communities. Urban and community forests contribute to energy savings, better air and water quality, reduced storm water runoff, carbon storage, and increased property values. Street trees and parks moderate local climate and provide aesthetic and recreational values to communities.
As natural elements of a built landscape, trees improve urban life and are critical to human health and emotional well-being. Research suggests that human beings have an innate affiliation to natural settings – a concept described as biophilia. Numerous studies link access to natural light, outdoor air, and living trees to increased employee and student productivity, faster hospital recoveries, less crime, and an overall reduction in stress and anxiety.
In an effort to maintain and improve the public benefits of trees, more and more cities throughout the United States are setting tree canopy goals. Community forests are becoming incorporated in sustainable growth strategies that seek to provide elements of green space – parks, gardens, farmlands, and other open areas. Investments in protected “green infrastructure” – strategically planned and locally managed networks of open green space – connect people to nature and to each other, providing a higher quality of life for community residents.
Greening our cities…
Some of the organizations dedicated to increasing urban tree cover and green space:
Updated: May 29, 2009 9:13 AM