Cities turn to trees to fight heat islands, but growth is slow – NBC4 Washington
Many major US cities, including Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix, Chicago and Boston, are working to close the equity gap in tall tree canopy cover through volunteer tree planting events, partnerships community and green jobs programs.
Extreme heat in cities is a major problem worldwide, and underserved urban communities can be particularly at risk due to the urban heat island effect, which occurs when an area traps more heat in due to the lack of green spaces and a higher density of pavement and buildings. It’s a growing problem in a warming world – extreme heat is already the deadliest weather hazard in the United States
This has brought a deep examination of the lack of green space in many poor urban areas. Research shows that historically bounded communities, which are black and brown communities that have received little investment due to discriminatory practices, face more extreme heat threats largely due to lack of forest cover.
Tree canopy cover can significantly reduce temperatures, sometimes by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which can help in some communities where the average temperature is near 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. A recent study by the International Journal of Biometeorology found that one in four lives in Los Angeles could be saved during extreme heat events when there is more tree cover, along with other methods of cooling in square.
Read the full story at NBCNews.com.