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Benefits of Urban Trees

While trees alone won't solve all the woes of a modern city, they go a long way to making a City a more livable place.   

Some key benefits:

  • Flood Mitigation – Urban Trees “Flatten the Curve” by intercepting rainfall, increasing infiltration, and absorbing water.  Peak runoff rates are reduced and delayed.  And trees are significantly less expensive than engineered "BMPs" - Best Management Practices like retention ponds.  https://www.chesapeakequarterly.net/V07N2/side1/index.html
  • Water Quality Improvement – Reducing stormwater runoff also directly improves water quality.  Reduced runoff carries less nutrients, fertilizers, sediment, and other pollutants helping us meet TMDL goals and improving health of our waterways. https://www3.epa.gov/npdes/pubs/nps_urban-facts_final.pdf
  • Increased Economic Activity - Tree lined Streetscapes improve the appeal of a business district and positively impact visitors’ buying behavior.  More and more, in-store shopping is a discretionary activity and people want a positive experience.  As such, attractive,welcoming locales with handsome streetscape see more business activity and more sales revenue. http://www.naturewithin.info/CityBiz/MainStreetNews_Aug09_Trees.pdf
  • Reduced Urban Heat Islands - Extreme heat is the number-one weather-related cause of death in the U.S., killing more people than hurricanes, floods or tornadoes most years.  More trees results in lower summer temperatures. And from an environmental justice perspective, lack of trees and heat islands correlate with poorer neighborhoods – a 2019 NPR/University of Maryland study tagged Chesapeake as one of the 10 worst cities for correlation between poverty and heat island effects.  https://www.npr.org/2019/09/03/754044732/as-rising-heat-bakes-u-s-cities-the-poor-often-feel-it-most
The list of benefits goes on to include

  • Enhanced Beauty of a Place
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Improved Water Quality
  • Improved Soil Health
  • Reduced Noise Pollution
  • Improved Walkability and Sense of Community
  • Improved Human Health including reduced incidence of obesity and asthma
  • Wildlife and Biodiversity benefits
  • Reduced Stress and Anxiety and overall improved Mental Health
  • Reduced symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
  • Traffic Calming and fewer Accidents
  • Lower Cooling and Heating Costs
  • Increased Property Values
  • Reduced Violence and Crime
  • Improved Academic Performance of students
  • Storage of Carbon
Shade from trees even results in roadway pavement lasting longer and lower cost for roadway maintenance.  https://www.pavingandrepairhouston.com/uploads/1/0/4/8/104898903/effects_of_street_tree_shade.pdf

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