USDA’s analysis of American urban forests
A report produced last summer by the US Forest Service’s Northern Research Station highlights the benefits of trees in urban environments, quantifies levels of existing tree cover in urbanized areas across the US and elucidates some of the issues and challenges involved with expanding urban forests (for the study, “urban forests” included all trees found within an urban region, such as on streets, yards, parks, etc.). Identified benefits included local climate and energy use, air quality, climate change, water flow and quality, noise abatement,wildlife and biodiversity, soil quality, real estate and business, individual well-being and public health, and community well-being. The metrics are explained in depth in the report.
Approximately 80% of the US population lives in cities across the contiguous lower 48 states, with that proportion expected to continue rising. The report advocates for the adoption of urban forest management plans to ensure ecosystem services for city dwellers as urbanization continues.
(via City Parks Blog)