Understanding and promoting urban tree cover has never been more important.
Increasing a city’s tree canopy contributes to lowering urban temperatures by blocking shortwave radiation and increasing water evaporation. Creating more comfortable microclimates, trees also mitigate air pollution caused by everyday urban activities. Their absorptive root systems also help avoid floods during severe rains and storm surges. So overall, trees are pretty awesome.
Cities around the world are recognizing this and many are developing strategies to increase green canopy cover. In fact, in 2015, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Agenda Council (GAC) on the Future of Cities included increasing green canopy cover on their list of top ten urban initiatives: “Cities will always need large—infrastructure projects, but sometimes small—scale infrastructure—from cycle lanes and bike sharing to the planting of trees for climate change adaptation—can also have a big impact on an urban area.”
As cities around the world race to implement green canopy strategies, we’ve developed a metric—the Green View Index—by which to evaluate and compare canopy cover. In collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community, this database will continue to grow to span cities all over the globe. What does your green canopy look like?
More cities coming... check senseable.mit.edu/treepedia/
Web and visualizations by Wonyoung So. For exhaustive list of credits, please visit official website.