City Trees Boost Health And Wealth


Published:

Here’s how to make big money in the modern megalopolis: plant more city trees. Tree-lined streets and leafy suburbs are already worth $500 million a year to the modern megacity, and civic authorities could branch out and make even more.

It’s just a matter of recognizing the economic benefits of literally turning over a new leaf. Trees deliver shade, they soak up carbon, they dispose of airborne pollution and they absorb water. In doing all this, they ameliorate climate, cut heating and air-conditioning costs, and improve public health.

The economic services provided by maples in Naples, Italy, or oaks in Oakland, California, are so pronounced that scientists have been able to set a value on the urban canopy.

They find that the average 39 square meters of tree cover per urban citizen are worth $35 to each megacity dweller. A square kilometer of trees in a big city is worth $1.2 million a year to the citizens who stroll beneath the branches.

And in a sample of 10 megacities – that is urban areas of 10 million people or more – the average value to each city of its standing woodland, parks and leafy avenues is $505m. And to make almost double the money, just plant more.

Increased Well-Being

“Megacities can increase these benefits on average by 85%,” said Theodore Endreny of the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York.

“If trees were established throughout their potential cover area, they would serve to filter air and water pollutants and reduce building energy use, and improve human well-being while providing habitat and resources for other species in the urban area.”

He and five colleagues from Italy report in the journal Ecological Modelling that they made an analysis of the actual and potential tree cover, and the contribution to what scientists like to call ecosystem services, in 10 megacities across five continents.

These are Beijing in China, Buenos Aires in Argentina, Cairo in Egypt, Istanbul in Turkey, London in Great Britain, Los Angeles in the US, Mexico City in Mexico, Moscow in Russia, Mumbai in India and Tokyo in Japan.

That trees have value is long established: researchers have even been able to calculate their contribution to property values. Researchers have also demonstrated repeatedly that natural forests in different ways represent wealth for local populations and could if protected more efficiently deliver even more wealth.

But wild forest is being lost at an ever greater rate. So the latest study tried to put a value on the cash benefits delivered by trees in the cities.

The scientists calculated the levels of carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide, sulphur dioxide and fine soots and particles from traffic and other sources that stuck to or were absorbed by trees in cities, the way trees insulated buildings against the cold and helped shade them in the heat, and the way trees absorbed the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, in just 10 great cities.

They found that humans profited richly from the pines, planes and palms that lined their city streets. On average, trees even saved city authorities $11m a year by soaking up stormwater that would otherwise have to be handled by the urban drains and sewers.

Bigger Savings

That same transpiration of stormwater helped turn urban hot air into a cooler breeze that made the summer streets more welcoming.

In 2016, scientists counted 40 megacities, home to 722 million people. That is almost one tenth of the human population of the planet. In the selected 10 cities, on average trees covered 21% of the built-up zone and they could have shaded another 19%. The implication is that trees could save city dwellers a lot more money, just by colonising more of the urban jungle.

“Placing these results on the larger scale of socioeconomic systems makes evident to what extent nature supports our individual and community well-being by providing ecosystem services for free,” said Sergio Ulgiati of the University Parthenope in Naples, a co-author, who as a follow-up has with colleagues established an urban wellbeing laboratory in Naples.

“A deeper awareness of the economic value of free services provided by nature may increase our willingness to invest efforts and resources into natural capital conservation and correct exploitation, so that societal wealth, economic stability and well-being would also increase.”

Tim Radford, a founding editor of Climate News Network, worked for The Guardian for 32 years, for most of that time as science editor. He has been covering climate change since 1988.

This article was republished from Climate News Network.

See also:
Urban Nature: What Kinds Of Plants And Wildlife Flourish In Cities?
Why US Communities Should Be Designing Parks For Older Adults

Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Daily Astrology

February 27, 2020

Lovers may be surprisingly bold this morning. The Aries Moon is forming a noontime conjunction with Venus. Impulse buyers may also be tempted. However, not so fast. The Venus/Moon duo is at odds with Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn. After midday, partnerships…
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Alternative Health Directory

Browse all listings »

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Calendar

February 2020

With Kacey O’Donnell  Start Date: February 23, 2020   Come explore the spiritual path of Wicca! Discover more about nature, energy, magick and yourself. This 12-month course...

Cost: $1195 (Early Bird $1095)

Where:
Women of Wisdom
118 Washington Street
North Easton, MA  02356
View map »


Sponsor: Women of Wisdom
Telephone: 508-230-3680
Contact Name: Women of Wisdom
Website »

More information

The Basics Of Using Essential Oils Presenter: Kay Judge CCA Are you curious about how essential oils work and how to use them safely? This class will provide a basic understanding of the...

Cost: $25

Where:
Center for Inner Wellness
26B Main Street
Chester, MA  01011
View map »


Sponsor: Center for Inner Wellness
Telephone: 413-242-4069
Contact Name: Kay Judge
Website »

More information

Come shine with us! Join us in harmony and in our goal to bring the light of Spiritualism forward to all those who are searching.

Where:
VFW Post 2597
775 Boston Rd, Rt 3A
Billerica, MA
View map »


Sponsor: The Spiritualist Fellowship Church Of New England
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A Fundraiser for Lucy’s Love Bus Monday February 24th at 5:30pm (Snow date: March 2nd) Join us for complimentary appetizers, free door prizes, drinks, fun music, a raffle and auction with...

Where:
Crave Restaurant
10 Water Street
Amesbury, MA
View map »


Telephone: 857-277-1984
Contact Name: Kerry
Website »

More information

With Anna DeWitte Mondays—starts 1/27 Our next new class! Join Anna (one of our recent grads) for her mild heat class! The temperature will hover around 80 degrees which helps to loosen...

Cost: $17

Where:
State of Grace Yoga & Wellness Center
104 East Hartford Ave.
Uxbridge, MA  01569
View map »


Sponsor: State of Grace Yoga and Wellness Center
Telephone: 508-278-2818
Website »

More information

Discover Beauty. Discover Goodness. Discover Yourself. Your soul’s gifts are waiting. Breathe. Find stillness. The spark you need to ignite your life is here, within. Max Meditation...

Cost: $15

Where:
Modern Mystery School Boston
132 Charles St
3rd Floor
Auburndale, MA  02466
View map »


Sponsor: Modern Mystery School Boston
Telephone: 617-694-0994
Contact Name: Jordan Bain
Website »

More information

2nd and 4th Monday of every month This psychic message circle is for anyone wishing to raise their connection using their psychic centers known as the “clairs.” Learn how to use...

Cost: $20

Where:
Messages From Heaven Healing and Learning Center
646 Central Street
Suite 3
Leominster, MA
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Sound baths provide an opportunity to relax and journey into a healing, meditative and rejuvenating state. There is nothing you need to do, know or believe. Join us for a powerful, yet casual...

Cost: $25

Where:
Moth & Moon Studio
173 South River Rd
Suite #4
Bedford, NH  03110
View map »


Sponsor: Jeffrey Charles Warren
Contact Name: Jeffrey Charles Warren
Website »

More information

Automatic & Channel Writing — Class 2 of 3 Discussion of the process of writing and channeling. Continued writing practice and connecting practice and exercises. Discussion of...

Cost: At door $20; online reg. $15

Where:
The Healing Power of Flowers — Heaven and Earth
68 Stiles Rd, Unit A
Salem, NH  03079
View map »


Sponsor: The Healing Power of Flowers - Heaven and Earth
Telephone: 603-275-7688
Contact Name: Stacey
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

15 minutes for only $25 with some of our most popular readers! Plus, all merchandise will be 10% off too! Genevieve Hackett - Tarot or Mediumship Readings Renee Walsh - Destiny Divination...

Cost: $25

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, #1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Join Life Coach Cheryl Richardson and her husband, Michael Gerrish, a psychotherapist and gifted intuitive, for a special evening designed to help you upgrade your life!  During this event,...

Cost: $35

Where:
Circles of Wisdom
386 Merrimack Street, #1A
Methuen, MA  01844
View map »


Sponsor: Circles of Wisdom
Telephone: 978-474-8010
Contact Name: Cathy Kneeland
Website »

More information

February 27–29 Annie Appleseed Project: all-volunteer cancer nonprofit helps people make informed decisions on lifestyle issues, complementary therapies and holistic treatments....

Where:
West Palm Beach, FL


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
No Events

Kundalini yoga and Naad yoga (the yoga of sound), are powerful tools that help us to cope with challenges, change our state, and lift us into an elevated experience. We all know what it is like...

Cost: $35, $40 at the door

Where:
Yoga At The Ashram
368 Village St.
Millis, MA  02054
View map »


Telephone: 508-376-4525
Website »

More information

Get a personal teaching for Brother Granite's new Visionary Shamanism Tarot. This class includes the new Visionary Shamanism Tarot deck as well a 90 minute one on one class with Brother Granite...

Cost: $80

Where:
407 Deans Plaza
407 Rte 44
The Enchanted Forest Taunton
Raynham, MA  02767
View map »


Sponsor: Brother Granite
Telephone: 774-208-6195
Contact Name: Granite
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags