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Boston's Urban Tree Canopy _UTC_

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Boston's Urban Tree Canopy _UTC_ Powered By Docstoc
					 Environmental Justice and Urban
Forestry

 To plant trees is to give body and life to
     one's dreams of a better world.
                                                ~ Russell




 Presented by: Charlie Lord, The Urban Ecology Institute
   “We must cease seeing the City as a problem. We must
   see the City as the solution. For the City is our home. It
   is what we make it to be. It is where we live.”

                         – Charter of Calcutta




Cities should be part of the solution!
UEI Theory of Change




 Social and environmental well-being are
             inextricably linked
EJ Theory Suggests Communities of
Color have:

• More environmental disamenities

• Fewer environmental amenities

• Less access to decision-making processes
MA Study by Faber & Kreig

• Communities of color average more than 4
 x’s the number of hazardous waste sites

• Exposed to nearly 5 x’s as many lbs. of
 chemicals
MA Study by Faber and Kreig

• Low income communities exposed to
 nearly 7 x’s as many lbs. of chemicals

• Low income communities average nearly
 2.5 x’s more waste sites and 4 x’s as many
 waste sites per square mile
EJ and Forestry: The Third Wave

• Media Focus
• Environmental Justice: Social Justice
  Critique
• Just Sustainability
  – Integrating environmental and social justice
    outcomes
Urban Forestry and Justice in Boston
What is Boston’s Urban Tree Canopy?


The Urban Tree Canopy (UTC)
  of Boston refers to the area
  of the City covered by trees
   –   street trees in sidewalks
   –   park trees
   –   trees in back and front yards
   –   and on commercial and
       institutional grounds.
UTC Project Goals
   Monetary value for the services the urban
    forest is providing Boston



   Assess which areas are most in need of more
    green/less gray infrastructure

   Develop implementation strategy with the City
     Target key opportunity zones
     Public and private properties
Determining Boston’s current and
potential UTC through remote sensing
                  • UTC data was collected
                    using high resolution .5m
                    remote sensing imagery

                  • Imagery was then classified
                    in a land cover data set as:
                    canopy cover, plantable
                    space, water and marsh
                    land, or impervious
                    surfaces.
  Forest Opportunity Spectrum: first analysis
  current and possible canopy cover         Additional acers needed to reach 50% of total UTC in each
Current Canopy Cover Rates in Acres                                                                                        neighborhood

Existing                                                      8767                 600
Possible                                                     12207                 500
                                                                                         482

Not Suitable                                                  8820                 400                             363

Not Suitable areas include transportation networks and                             300
                                                                                               220                             217
buildings
                                                                                   200                      163
                                                                                                                                            140
                    Not                                                                               115
                  Suitable                                                                                                             77
                    30%                           Existing                         100                                                            39
                                                                                                                          28
                                                    29%                                                                                                3   0     0     0   0   0
                                                                                    0




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                                                                        Existing and Possible UTC by Land Use
                                                                                        Boston

                                  8000

                                  7000

                                  6000
                                                                                                                  3657
                                  5000

                                  4000

                                  3000                        2757
                                                                                               1587
                                  2000        1280                                                                3446
                                                                             983                                                                       Potential UTC
                                  1000        1280            1368                             1606                                  321
                                                                             572                                                     605               Existing UTC
                                     0
                                         Cityof Boston   Commonwealth   Other Exempt     Commercial         Residential        Industrial
                                                             MA             Land
                                      street tree
                                      Number of


                                                  10
                                      people per 15
                                                  20
                                                       25
                                                            30




                              0
                                  5
               Allston/Brighton
                      Roxbury
                     Mattapan
                 Jamaica Plain
                     North
                   Dorchester
                    Hyde Park
                      Fenway
                     South
                   Dorchester
                  East Boston
Neighborhood        Roslindale
                       Central
                 South Boston
                     Back Bay
                  Charlestown
                    South End
                                                                 Average number of people per street tree, by neighborhood




                West Roxbury
A comparison of UTC across Boston
                              1) This area has the lowest
                                 canopy cover. It also
                               lacks plantable (yellow
                               spaces). The majority of                              3) This area has a high
                                 land is impermeable.                                 rate of canopy cover-
                                                                                    above the goal. Although
                                                                                        there are plantable
                                                                                    spaces, it’s need for trees
                                                                                       is not as high as the
                                                                                           second area.




2) This area has tree cover
below the canopy goal. It
 also has many plantable                              Legend
 (yellow spaces). This is a                                 street trees

  good site to add trees.                                   empty street tree pit
                                                            non plantable zone
                                                            tree cover
                                                            plantable space
GROW BOSTON GREENER
What is GROW BOSTON GREENER?
GROW BOSTON GREENER is a collaborative
 effort of the City of Boston and its
 partners in Boston’s Urban Forest
 Coalition (BUFC) to plant 100,000
 new trees in the City by 2020.
Tree canopy, EJ, and Violence
      in the Inner City:
   Understanding the connections
  Case Study: Ida B. Wells housing development
  Chicago, IL

Chosen by Univ. of IL
because:
• Building had similar amount of
common space, but differing levels
of vegetation
• The vegetation did not block
views
•Residents are randomly assigned
to the buildings

• Residents have similar personal
characteristics
Case Study: Ida B. Wells housing development
Chicago, IL

              Methods:
              •Collected police reports from
              98 buildings
              • Assigned vegetation common
              area rating to each building
              (low, medium, high)
              • Analyzed relationship between
              quantity of vegetation and crime
              rates
Case Study: Ida B. Wells housing development
Chicago, IL
                  8
                  7
                  6
   # of crimes    5
        overall   4
                  3
                  2
                  1
                  0
                            Low        Medium        High

  Findings:
  •Buildings with more vegetation had fewer violent crimes and
  fewer property crimes
 Social Ecological Complexity
Variables
• % Canopy Cover Cluster                  Variable
• Social Capital    (count)
     •(neighborhood
     collective               Canopy   Capital   Volunteer   Move
     action)
• Willingness to
Volunteer           1(533)     38%       75%         51% 27%
• Move Away
                  2(560)       15%       66%         50% 52%

                  3(111)        30%      82%         45%     21%

                  4(354)        1%       54%         58% 57%

                  5(311)         5%      56%         41%     55%
Neighborhood Stability
• Neighborhood
 Crime Rate
  – “Neighbors’
    Willingness to Act”
    for each other
        – Neighborhood
          gardens
        – Community
          Forestry

• Mental Health
  – Fatigue and
    Aggression
  – Concentration
Chicago Heat Wave of 1995
“According to emergency workers, the
task was equivalent to handling one
fatal jetliner crash per day for three
consecutive days.”

Klinenberg, 2002, Heat Wave: a social
autopsy of disaster in Chicago.
                              Heat Wave:
                              a social autopsy of
                              disaster in Chicago


  High income         Low income   High income




High Social Capital                Low social capital

                                   Age: Children and Seniors
Parks and Property Values




• Homes within 1,500 feet of a natural area show significant
    property premiums: an average of $10,648!
•   Each large front yard tree adds 1% to sales price. Large
    trees can add 10% or more.
    Parks, crime and property values

• Well designed and maintained parks can deter crime

• A study in Baltimore looked at over 25,000 homes,
  their proximity to parks and the rate of robbery in or
  near parks

• The results showed a positive relationship between
  parks and home values in low-crime neighborhoods,
  but the opposite was true in high-crime
  neighborhoods
EJ and violence: Understanding the links


                                    • Greenery has a
                                      calming effect.
                                    • Green spaces are
                                      places where
                                      residents can
                                      gather and build
                                      community.
                                    • Green spaces give
                                      neighborhoods the
                                      appearance of
                                      being cared for.
To plant trees is to give body and life
 to one's dreams of a better world.
                           ~ Russell Page
References
• Luttik. 2000. “The Value of Trees, Water and Open Space as Reflected by
    House Prices in the Netherlands.” Landscape and Urban Planning 48:161-
    167.
•   Nicholls, S. and J. Crompton. 2005. “The Impact of Greenways on Property
    Values: Evidence from Austin, Texas.” Journal of Leisure Research 37:321-
    341.
•   Troy, Austin and Morgan Grove. 2006. “Property Values, Parks, and Crime:
    A hedonic analysis in Baltimore, MD.” Working paper.
•   Tyrvainen, L., and A. Miettinen. 2000. “Property Prices and Urban Forest
    Amenities.” Journal of Economics and Environmental Management 39:205-
    223.
•   Anderson, L.M.; Cordell, H.K. “Residential Property Values Improve by
    Landscaping With Trees.” Southern Journal of Applied Forestry, 9 (1988):
    162-166.
Contacts and more information:

               Charlie Lord
           Executive Director
         Urban Ecology Institute
            (617) 552-0928
             lordca@bc.edu

        Urban Ecology Institute:
          www.urbaneco.org

				
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