Planetizen - Urban Planning News, Jobs, and Education

Comparing the World's Urban Tree Canopies

Seattle provides plenty of shade for residents to enjoy in the summer months.
July 17, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email Comments
MIT Senseable Cities

Charles Mudede takes a dive into the world of urban tree canopies, comparing Seattle's urban forest to cities around the world and finding that the Pacific Northwest City is pretty green. 

According to Treepedia, the density of Seattle's forest is second only to Sacramento's in the US. Vancouver BC, which is up in Canada and the second-largest city in the Pacific Northwest, has a denser forest than Seattle's. 

Mudede also cites a 2012 report called "Forest Ecosystem Values: Analysis of the Structure, Function, and Economic Benefits," to place the number of trees in Seattle at 4.35 trees and tree-like shrubs. That's 7 trees and tree-like shrubs for every resident in Seattle. Mudede also explains the loose definition of "tree" (hence all the "tree-like shrubs")—it might come as a surprise to amateur biologists that there "is no hard science to tree-ness."

Treepedia is also worth another look. The project by the MIT Senseable City Lab uses Google Street View data to measure the urban "Green Canopy," or the aboveground portion of trees and vegetation in cities around the world. Planetizen covered the public release of Treepedia at the beginning of 2017.

Full Story:
Published on Friday, July 14, 2017 in The Stranger
Share Tweet LinkedIn Email