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Trees in Cities

by ZeroCarbon
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An Affordable Option in the Fight Against Climate Change

It can be so easy to take trees for granted. They are everywhere, right? But did you know the benefits and value of planting trees and creating green spaces in cities? Allow us to convince you that more trees are needed in your neighborhood.

If you have already read our previous article on Trees in The House Landscape, then you know that even having a tree planted on your property increases its resale value. A tree planted in the right spot next to your home can reduce your energy consumption.

Imagine trees doing that job – and more – for all city inhabitants!

CO2 (Carbon dioxide) is a greenhouse gas with greater emissions in cities. This is due to higher rates of urban transportation, use of AC units, cooking (to some degree), as well as energy consumption in homes, factories and other businesses. The current climate crisis we face is so complex that planting trees will simply not solve it alone. Urban planners, environmental organizations, and international agencies such as UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) are assessing the positive effects of making cities greener. Planting more trees will massively help reduce carbon emission through the absorption and sequestration (storage) of CO2.

Speaking of UNECE, check out their “Trees in Cities” Challenge to learn how European mayors’ pledges to plant over a whopping 8.5 MILLION TREES will drastically improve the lives of city inhabitants while reducing the dangerous level of CO2 in their regions.

Listed below are the four main reasons why we recommend establishing trees and urban forests (a collection of trees and/or woody vegetation in an urban setting) around every city in an attempt to tackle climate change:

Why we need trees and urban forests in cities:

  1. Concrete buildings and asphalt on roads store heat, increasing the temperature in cities. Trees planted in city streets provide shade and even lower temperature in these areas by up to 8°C
  2. Planting trees is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing emissions – Theodore Endreny over at The Conversation even calculated the value of trees in megacities around the world and shares the monetary value of investing in trees and urban forests
  3. Trees remove and sequester more than just CO2; some examples being sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide. Other pollutants such as nickel and lead are examples of trees’ air-purifying abilities, which they snatch up to make our air more breathable
  4. Trees and Humans have a symbiotic relationship, both benefiting from one another. We breathe out our CO2 for them, and they ‘breathe’ out our oxygen in return

Quick recap: Trees are proven to be an affordable tool in the quest to reduce carbon emissions in cities worldwide. Through their collection of CO2 and the ability to cool down the air around them, nearby citizens enjoy cleaner air and lower energy bills. Overall, the trees planted in your city offer you a better quality of life. Not bad for an inexpensive addition to your city streets.

Bonus Facts

Did you know…that studies in Baltimore, Connecticut, and Chicago have shown that increasing the number of trees in their cities have decreased property damage and violent crime rates by at least 10%?!

This goes against previous misconceptions that urban forests and green spaces are associated with higher crime rates.

There are a few theories behind this, our favorite one being the positive impact on individuals’ mental health in areas surrounded by trees and nature.

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