Innovative App Calculates the Benefits of Planting Trees
Based on an analysis by i-Tree, a software program developed by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with Davey Tree company, street tree coverage in Pittsburgh, Pa. confers $2.4 million in environmental and aesthetic value per year to the city.
I-Tree calculates the carbon sequestration potential of each tree planted and the economic benefits of air pollution reduction. Its next version will also be able to analyze how urban forests affect air temperature, ultraviolet ray penetration and bird habitat.
Using i-Tree, the environmental nonprofit Tree Pittsburgh figured out that the city received $3 in benefits for every dollar it invested in urban forestation. In response, the city developed a new master plan to replenish its canopy, which is at half the recommended coverage now.
I-Tree is designed to be usable by anyone and exists in mobile as well as desktop version.