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Grounds Watch: Understanding Benefits of Trees


By Dan Hounsell Grounds Management

Megacities — urban centers crammed with more than 10 million people — would be well served to double down on their arboreal assets, according to a report on citylab.com.

A team of researchers led by Theodore Endreny of SUNY’s College of Environmental Studies and Forestry sought to quantify how leafy infrastructure pays dividends in 10 chock-full cities, as well as the extent to which the benefits could compound if those areas went greener.

To estimate the existing tree cover in Beijing, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Istanbul, London, L.A., Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, and Tokyo, the researchers adapted the i-Tree model, which was developed by the U.S. Forest Service in 2006. i-Tree employs aerial photography to gauge the dollar value and environmental payoff of the urban canopy. To date, it’s only been used to snap a bird’s eye view of the canopy across U.S. cities. Past analyses have zoomed in on Los Angeles and Austin.

Across the 10 megacities in question, the researchers estimated an annual median payoff of $505 million, including:

  • $482 million per year in decreased air pollution, predominantly from smaller particulate matter, a byproduct of combustion and diesel engines
  • a benefit of $11 million annually through improved stormwater remediation
  • a half-million saved in heating and cooling costs
  • $8 million in carbon dioxide sequestration.

Read more at: https://www.citylab.com/environment/2017/08/how-much-are-trees-worth-to-megacities/537972/

This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com. For more on the benefits one university is reaping from trees, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/14318FMD. For insights on the impact of trees on facilities and maintenance, visit https://www.facilitiesnet.com/16434FMD.

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