Article

Implementing and managing urban forests: A much needed conservation strategy to increase ecosystem services and urban wellbeing

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

Abstract

Megacities contain at least 10 million people whose wellbeing largely depends on ecosystem services provided by remote natural areas. What is, however, most often disregarded is that nature conservation in the city can also contribute to human wellbeing benefits. The most common mind set separates cities from the rest of nature, as if they were not special kinds of natural habitats. Instead, awareness that urban systems are also nature and do host biodiversity and ecosystem services opportunities, should push urban people towards increased urban forest conservation and implementation strategies. This research estimated existing and potential, tree cover, and its contribution to ecosystem services in 10 megacity metropolitan areas, across 5 different continents and biomes. We developed estimates for each megacity using local data to transform i-Tree Eco estimates of tree cover benefits to reductions in air pollution, stormwater, building energy, and carbon emissions for London, UK. The transformation used biophysical scaling equations based on local megacity tree cover, human population, air pollution, climate, energy use, and purchasing power parity. The megacity metropolitan areas ranged from 1173 to 18,720 sq km (median value 2530 sq km), with median tree cover 21%, and potential tree cover another 19% of the city. Megacities had a median tree cover density of 39 m²/capita, much smaller than the global average value of 7800 m²/capita, with density lower in desert and tropical biomes, and higher in temperate biomes. The present median benefit value from urban trees in all 10 megacities can be estimated as $482 million/yr due to reductions in CO, NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5, $11 million/yr due to avoided stormwater processing by wastewater facilities, $0.5 million/yr due to building energy heating and cooling savings, and $8 million/yr due to CO2 sequestration. Planting more trees in potential tree cover areas could nearly double the benefits provided by the urban forest. In 2016 there were 40 megacities, totaling 722 million residents, nearly 10% of the human population, who would benefit from nature conservation plans where they work and live. Nature conservation strategies in megacities should work to sustain and grow the benefits of the urban forest, and improve accounting methods to include additional ecosystem services provided by the urban forest.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... Furthermore, very few respondents agreed with statements that urban forests reduce stress, protect water sources, benefits real estate valuation, add value to urban ground, regulate micro-climate, and mitigate noise pollution (Table 1). But the literature shows that these are the key benefits that urbanities can have from planting trees (Dwyer, 1992;FAO, 2016b;Tidwell, 2016;Xiao, 2016;Endreny et al., 2017;and Lo et al., 2017). Tidwell (2016), for example, noted that urban forests can improve human health by reducing levels of stress, as also observed by Dandy et al. (2012). ...
... He added that urban forests are also important for the protection of water sources. Endreny et al. (2017) noted that urban trees can add value to urban grounds. According to the City of Burlington UFMP 2011-2030, physical and psychological well-being, noise reduction, and property valueaddition are among the key socio-economic benefits of urban forests. ...
... The same was also the response to the statement that urban trees add on greenhouse gas emission through respiration and litter decomposition. All this means that most respondents were not aware of these urban forestry functions (Table 2), contrary to the literature (as in McDonald et al., 2016;Tidwell, 2016;and Endreny et al., 2017). These findings are also contrary to the findings by Lo et al. (2017) who indicated that people had a clear perception on the functions of trees in the adaptation to climate change in urban areas. ...
Article
This paper examines perceptions and actions of urban residents on urban forestry and adaptation to climate change in Kigamboni District in the city of Dare es Salaam, Tanzania. It employs an exploratory research design to capture the perceived link between urban forestry and climate change, using a semistructured questionnaire administered to 107 respondents obtained through a simple random sampling technique. Yielded qualitative and quantitative data were analyzed using content analysis and the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS), respectively. The findings mostly indicated perceptions inconsistency across variables among respondents, and between the current study and past studies. Also, the number of trees planted per household is relatively low considering the space available per home ground. The paper concludes that it is time for Tanzania to introduce a national forest city program to easily track developments and achievements in the urban forestry sector.
... Canopy cover varies greatly among cities and is on the decline globally. Canopy cover varies with climate (Endreny et al. 2017) and between continents (Nowak and Greenfield 2020). Cities in forested regions typically have the greatest tree cover (averaging about 30 percent), followed by cities in grassland regions (18 percent) and cities in desert regions (12 percent; Nowak and Greenfield 2020). ...
... Cities in forested regions typically have the greatest tree cover (averaging about 30 percent), followed by cities in grassland regions (18 percent) and cities in desert regions (12 percent; Nowak and Greenfield 2020). For example, the city of Atlanta contains 54 percent cover, compared to 8 percent in Cairo (Nowak et al. 2013;Endreny et al. 2017 Total carbon storage and sequestration rates in urban forests vary with climatic and social contexts (Nowak and Crane 2002;Strobach et al. 2011;Nowak et al. 2013;Dobbs et al. 2014;Chen 2015). Cities with favorable growing seasons, robust urban forest management programs, or ample water supplies for vegetation may store more carbon than their counterparts lacking those characteristics. ...
... Although higher canopy cover could increase benefits related to carbon sequestration and storage (Endreny et al. 2017), pressure from development and infill can make large increases in canopy cover challenging or impossible. Urban infill does, however, provide other benefits to cities' carbon footprints, as densification in walkable neighborhoods connected to public transit reduces emissions from private transportation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Better Forests, Better Cities evaluates how forests both inside and outside city boundaries benefit cities and their residents, and what actions cities can take to conserve, restore and sustainably manage those forests. This report is the first of its kind comprehensive resource on the connection between cities and forests, synthesizing hundreds of research papers and reports to show how all forest types can deliver a diverse suite of benefits to cities.
... The current and the potential tree coverage scenarios and the related benefits are assessed by the integration of the i-Tree Canopy online tool [41] and the life cycle assessment [42,43] method to quantify the ecosystem functions, including an economic perspective and pollution sequestration, to support future policies for urban green areas expansion projects and investments. The i-Tree Canopy tool is fairly used within the scientific literature to assess not just tree canopy cover but also other cover classes, thanks to its efficiency in making land cover assessments relatively easy by using aerial imagery [44][45][46][47][48]. However, very little seems to be present about using the i-Tree Canopy tool together with the LCA method [49], and the simultaneous use of the two frameworks to quantify ecosystem functions and assess the pros and cons of reforestation programs seems to be absent. ...
... The i-Tree Canopy tool estimates tree coverage, as well as other user-decided cover classes, by generating random points within a specified area to be manually classified [41]. In addition, it allows the estimation of the coverage area by providing the most recent aerial Google Maps/Google Earth imagery data (with a resolution of about 0.3 m) in order to perform a statistical analysis of the classification of randomly generated points [48]. ...
... Endreny et al. (2017) [48] state that 500 random points are adequate to survey megacities. In this study, to produce more accurate results, 803 points were assessed and classified according to the user-defined cover classes reported in Table 1. ...
Article
Full-text available
Green infrastructures deliver countless functions for counteracting climate change, air pollution, floods, and heat islands, contributing at the same time to water and carbon recycling as well as to renewable energies and feedstock provisioning. Properly addressing such environmental problems would require huge investments that could be decreased thanks to the further implementation of urban forests. Local administrations are designing participative projects to improve territories and their living conditions. The i-Tree Canopy modelling tool and the life cycle assessment method are jointly applied to evaluate the potential benefits of increasing tree coverage within the boundaries of the Metropolitan City of Naples, Southern Italy. Results highlighted that tree coverage could increase by about 2.4 million trees, thus generating 51% more benefits in pollutants removal, carbon sequestration and stormwater management. The benefits are also explored and confirmed by means of the life cycle assessment method. The potential tree cover is expected to provide a total annual economic benefit of USD 55 million, purchasing power parity value adjusted, representing USD 18 per citizen and USD 99,117 per square kilometre of implemented urban forest. These results can support a potential replication elsewhere and provide a reference for the sustainable improvement of cities by expanding urban green areas.
... 27 Furthermore, previous research into urban ecosystem services has been biased toward cities with temperate climates and generally high levels of economic development. 28,29 Such cities are not representative of the urban situation in other parts of the world, which can differ greatly in economic, demographic, social, and ecological characteristics. 28 Thus, we have only a limited understanding of the contributions of urban vegetation to mitigating urban challenges generally, and how its importance may vary across different types of cities. ...
... 28,29 Such cities are not representative of the urban situation in other parts of the world, which can differ greatly in economic, demographic, social, and ecological characteristics. 28 Thus, we have only a limited understanding of the contributions of urban vegetation to mitigating urban challenges generally, and how its importance may vary across different types of cities. ...
... In the past, urban ecosystem services were not formally recognized in planning and design, which often led to the loss of urban vegetation through development. 20 Demonstrating the benefits of urban ecosystem services in some cities has helped raise public and governmental awareness of the importance of urban vegetation; 28,29 one example is New York City, where quantifying the benefits of trees led to policy changes aimed at increasing tree cover by 20%. 30 Extending this type of quantification to other cities could prompt similar policy initiatives elsewhere. ...
Article
Urbanization has caused multiple environmental grand challenges that impair urban sustainability. Urban vegetation (UV), a mainstream nature-based solution (NBS), can mitigate urban challenges through providing important ecosystem services (ESs). However, successful implementation of UV to provide ESs, is impaired due to insufficient knowledge of its effectiveness under different climatic and socio-economic conditions. Here, we quantify seven ESs provided by UV across 2,148 cities with ≥250,000 residents. We show that UV makes substantial contributions to outdoor recreation and stormwater regulation but is less effective in reducing air pollution, in most cities, regardless of the climatic and socio-economic context. The contributions of UV to carbon sequestration, coastal protection, shade provision, and land surface temperature reduction were generally smaller and varied substantially dependent on city climatic and human development index characteristics. Comprehensive assessments for urban NBS planning are essential to maximize ES efficacy for urban sustainability improvements and support human well-being.
... Conservation strategies and successes reported in past studies highlight the importance of values attached to the subject to be protected (Arnberger & Eder, 2015;Cai et al., 2021;Endreny et al., 2017;Lamhamedi et al., 2021;Levandovska et al., 2020;Massawe et al., 2021;Wajchman-Świtalska et al., 2021) meaning, people protect what they value. The rank for conservation measures and efforts in this study can be attributed to the recognition of the benefits of urban forests outlined in the first theme above. ...
... The management of urban forests and related resources is vital in the overall conservation and management activities, just like policies and planning, ought to be based on detailed resource inventories and monitoring (Butt et al., 2021;Endreny et al., 2017;Ordóñez et al., 2020;Pregitzer et al., 2019). In addition, management tools highlighted by Moraes Amaral et al. (2021) provide essential guidelines to the management of urban forests. ...
... Furthermore, their social role can be emphasized by ameliorating the availability and accessibility of currently vacant and underused land in urban contexts [91]. Therefore, the five P-NBS considered here already include-or could include-individual trees and/or groups of trees, as they are considered to be the best natural elements to increase the spectrum of ES provided [26,79,85,[92][93][94]. ...
... Our results confirm that urban forests are among the best performing NBS, and Di Pirro et al. [42] argue that reforestation programs could also be expanded to other municipalities with few additional resources (+7.5% of the national territory) but involving an extra 46% of the national population. Although trees and forests (especially urban ones) are considered by many authors as the best solution to address environmental challenges [79,85,92,93], our work also proposes a list of performing I-NBS (e.g., green roofs) that can be implemented on sealed surfaces. These can help mitigate environmental stressors by using impervious surfaces i) that are usually unemployed (e.g., gravel or bitumen roofs) and ii) that could even exacerbate the challenges due to their physical characteristics (e.g., thermal emittance, reduced infiltration capacity) [95]. ...
Article
Full-text available
The European Union is significantly investing in the Green Deal that introduces measures to guide Member States to face sustainability and health challenges, especially employing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) in urban contexts. National governments need to develop appropriate strategies to coordinate local projects, face multiple challenges, and maximize NBS effectiveness. This paper aims to introduce a replicable methodology to integrate NBS into a multi-scale planning process to maximize their cost–benefits. Using Italy as a case study, we mapped three environmental challenges nationwide related to climate change and air pollution, identifying spatial groups of their co-occurrences. These groups serve as functional areas where 24 NBS were ranked for their ecosystem services supply and land cover. The results show eight different spatial groups, with 6% of the national territory showing no challenge, with 42% showing multiple challenges combined simultaneously. Seven NBS were high-performing in all groups: five implementable in permeable land covers (urban forests, infiltration basins, green corridors, large parks, heritage gardens), and two in impervious ones (intensive, semi-intensive green roofs). This work provides a strategic vision at the national scale to quantify and orient budget allocation, while on a municipal scale, the NBS ranking acts as a guideline for specific planning activities based on local issues.
... Numerous studies have been conducted to validate this tool through case study applications [20,32,33] and comparison and synergy with other tools such as allometric equations or direct measurements [34][35][36][37][38]. At first, i-Tree Eco has been extensively applied in the USA [39][40][41]; since 2010, it has been widely used in other countries and various climatic regions [32,35,37,42,43], and, in recent years, its use has also been spreading in southern Europe/Mediterranean contexts [33,44,45]. ...
... Generally, scholars use i-Tree Eco in urban contexts to define urban green growth models [40], to assess a single ecosystem service as carbon storage [20], or air quality's improvement [35,37], to evaluate the ecosystem services provided by urban parks [32,42], or to compare urban green designs in ecosystem service provision [33]. However, for politicians and urban planners to consider the value of tree-planting in their daily decisions, there is a lack in the development of tools that are easy to use [8,43]. ...
Article
Full-text available
With the uncertainties that our societies are living with (the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change), it becomes essential to provide urban planners and decision-makers with state-of-the-art and user-friendly methodologies to incorporate ecosystem service considerations into their designs for resilient cities. In this regard, urban forests play a crucial role. The quantification of the ecosystem services is geo-specific and needs studies in different urban contexts. At this scope, we evaluated the urban forest of a neighborhood of a densely built-up Italian city (Perugia) with a low level of urban greenery management and with a tree inventory still in progress. Furthermore, we defined a tool helpful in tree-planting decisions and management. This paper involves citizens in field research for trees inventory. Then, it uses i-Tree Eco to evaluate four ecosystem services (carbon storage and sequestration, pollution removal, and runoff avoided) provided by 373 inventoried urban trees belonging to 57 species. Our results show that Italian Municipal tree inventories do not adequately represent their urban forest and that citizens’ participation provides a cost-effective method for integrating field data. Finally, the paper develops an easy tool helping local administrations enhance the ecosystem services provisions in urban green design.
... Urban centres and their associated human activity lead to a dramatic loss of native ecosystem cover [1]. Although urbanization generates environmental challenges, cities provide a unique context to restore native ecosystems for human well-being [2] and opportunities to develop the field of restoration ecology. Restored urban forests provide important ecosystem services [3], such as reducing greenhouse gases through carbon sequestration [4,5], decreasing storm water runoff by absorbing rainwater [2,6,7] and minimising the urban heat island effect by reducing ground surface and air temperatures [8]. ...
... Although urbanization generates environmental challenges, cities provide a unique context to restore native ecosystems for human well-being [2] and opportunities to develop the field of restoration ecology. Restored urban forests provide important ecosystem services [3], such as reducing greenhouse gases through carbon sequestration [4,5], decreasing storm water runoff by absorbing rainwater [2,6,7] and minimising the urban heat island effect by reducing ground surface and air temperatures [8]. Further, complex urban greenspaces, such as forests, can be havens for native biodiversity [9,10] and enhance human health and well-being [11,12]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Successfully reconstructing functioning forest ecosystems from early-successional tree plantings is a long-term process that often lacks monitoring. Many projects lack observations of critical successional information, such as the restoration trajectory of key ecosystem attributes and ecological thresholds, which signal that management actions are needed. Here, we present results from a 65 ha urban temperate rainforest restoration project in Aotearoa New Zealand, where trees have been planted annually on public retired pasture land, forming a 14 years chronosequence. In 25 plots (100 m2 each), we measured key ecosystem attributes that typically change during forest succession: native tree basal area, canopy openness, non-native herbaceous ground cover, leaf litter cover, ground fern cover, dead trees, and native tree seedling abundance and richness. We also monitored for the appearance of physiologically-sensitive plant guilds (moss, ferns, and epiphytes) that may be considered ecological indicators of succession. Linear regression models identified relationships between all but one of the key ecosystem attributes and forest age (years since planting). Further, using breakpoint analysis, we found that ecological thresholds occurred in many ecosystem attributes during their restoration trajectories: reduced canopy openness (99.8% to 3.4%; 9.6 years threshold), non-native herbaceous ground cover (100% to 0; 10.9 years threshold), leaf litter cover (0 to 95%; 10.8 years threshold), and increased tree deaths (0 to 4; 11 years threshold). Further, juvenile native plant recruitment increased (tree seedling abundance 0 to ~150 per 4 m2), tree seedling species richness (0 to 13 per 100 m2) and epiphytes colonized (0 to 3 individuals per 100 m2). These and other physiologically-sensitive plant guilds appeared around the 11 years mark, confirming their utility as ecological indicators during monitoring. Our results indicate that measurable, ecological thresholds occur during the restoration trajectories of ecosystem attributes, and they are predictable. If detected, these thresholds can inform project timelines and, along with use of ecological indicators, inform management interventions.
... Urban forests are now recognized as critical component of city planning for maintaining liveable cities in the face of rapidly expanding populations and climate change (Endreny et al., 2017;Nowak and Crane, 2002). Urban forests provide multiple ecological services includingmicro-climate regulation (McDonald et al., 2020), biodiversity conservation, food and water supply regulation, air filtration (Trlica et al., 2020), noise reduction, rainwater drainage, sewage treatment, and cultural values (Salmond et al., 2016). ...
... Urban forests provide multiple ecological services includingmicro-climate regulation (McDonald et al., 2020), biodiversity conservation, food and water supply regulation, air filtration (Trlica et al., 2020), noise reduction, rainwater drainage, sewage treatment, and cultural values (Salmond et al., 2016). Individual urban trees can have a replacement value of up to £450,000 ($600,000), and these services are valued at approximately $1 million km 2 per year (Endreny et al., 2017;Wilkes et al., 2018). Integration of urban forests in the cities has become increasingly important in improving urban ecosystem resilience both to regulate urban microclimates and mitigate global climate change (Amoatey and Sulaiman, 2020). ...
Article
Urban forests play a significant role in carbon cycling. Quantification of Above Ground Biomass (AGB) is critical to understand the role of urban forests in carbon sequestration. In the present study, Machine learning (ML) based regression algorithms (SVM, RF, kNN and XGBoost) have been taken into account for spatial mapping of AGB and carbon for the urban forests of Jodhpur city, Rajasthan, India, with the aid of field-based data and their correlations with spectra and textural variables derived from Landsat 8 OLI data. A total of 198 variables were retrieved from the satellite image, including bands, Vegetation Indices (VIs), linearly transformed variables, and Grey Level Co-occurrence textures (GLCM) taken as independent input variables further reduced to 29 variables using Boruta feature selection method. All the models have been compared where with RF algorithm, R² = 0.83, RMSE = 16.22 t/ha and MAE = 11.86 t/ha. For kNN algorithm R² = 0.77, RMSE = 28.04 t/ha and MAE = 24.24 t/ha and SVM where R² = 0.73, RMSE = 89.21 t/ha and MAE = 74.22 t/ha and the best prediction accuracy has been noted with XGBoost algorithm (R² = 0.89, RMSE = 14.08 t/ha and MAE = 13.66 t/ha) with predicted AGB as 0.51-153.76 t/ha. The study indicates that ML-based regression algorithms have great potential over other linear and multiple regression techniques for spatial mapping of AGB and carbon of urban forests for arid regions.
... Despite the invaluable role of TFs in the SD enterprise, evidence from the 2018 Sustainable Development Report shows that from 2000 to 2015 the Earth's forest areas decreased by millions of hectares (Amoah and Korle, 2020). It has been argued (FAO, 2020;Endreny et al., 2017;Endreny, 2018), that one way to address the challenge is to grow trees and conserve forests. Nonetheless, the need to do this is often overlooked, especially in developing countries, including Ghana where many actors such as peasant farmers, illegal miners, and chainsaw operators continue to destroy TFs (Seymour, 2017) in pursuit of their livelihood activities. ...
Article
Full-text available
In consonance with the universal quest for sustainable development, the United Nations (UN) declared 17 global goals in 2015 known as the sustainable development goals (SDGs). Scholarly literature has highlighted the relevance of trees and forests (TFs) to this quest from various perspectives. However, the perspectives appear elitist, as they tend to exclude those of some seemingly ordinary but actually crucial actors whose activities directly affect the growth, health, and population of TFs, namely small-scale farmers, chainsaw operators, and artisanal miners operating particularly in rural areas in developing countries. The study examined the excluded perspectives of the said actors in selected rural comminutes in Ghana on the relevance of TFs to SD. The study was guided by the SDGs in its data collection, analysis, and reporting approach. Focus group discussions were held with the farmers and miners, while in-depth interviews were held with the chainsaw operators. The actors‘ perspectives generally indicated that TFs were relevant to seven, not relevant to six, and somehow relevant to four of the 17 SDGs. Although the actors saw TFs as important for SD, they (actors) were not favourably disposed to tree-planting for purposes of land restoration because they saw TFs as renewable resources with natural regenerative capacity. Stronger advocacy and more intensive sensitization by the central and local governments, forestry commission, and other pro-environmental organisations, institutions, and agencies on the importance of growing, nurturing, and conserving TFS for SD are recommended. Furthermore, the government should enforce regulations to stop the destruction of TFs by the actors to ensure a sustainable green environment for sustainable development.
... A provisão de todos esses e outros serviços ecossistêmicos tem um retorno econômico para as cidades. Em estimativa realizada em 10 megacidades ao redor do mundo, Endreny et al. (2017) apontam um ganho de ~US$ 500 milhões/ano com as reduções de CO, NO2, SO2, PM10 e PM2.5; US$ 11 milhões/ano com a redução do tratamento de águas de chuvas; US$ 0,5 milhões/ano com custos de aquecimento e refrigeração; e US$ 8 milhões/ano com o sequestro de carbono. ...
Experiment Findings
Full-text available
O Anel Viário em SJC possui uma ampla área em seu entorno passível de ser arborizada. A arborização dessa área tem o potencial de prover diferentes serviços ambientais (p.ex., culturais, de provisão, de suporte e de regulação) que podem beneficiar a população urbana do município e melhorar a ambiência da cidade. Utilizando técnicas de geoprocessamento, as áreas passíveis de arborização foram vetorizadas e a área quantificada. Com o valor de área, foi calculado o número potencial de árvores que a área suportaria. A partir desse número potencial e da área disponível, com o uso de equações já estabelecidas, foram estimados os benefícios ambientais (sequestro de CO2 pela vegetação e pelo solo, retenção de material particulado, e absorção de ozônio) e econômicos de tal área, contrastando então com os custos de implantação. Baseando a implantação do projeto calculando os benefícios econômicos de apenas quatro serviços ambientais, nossos cálculos demonstram o retorno financeiro superaria os custos em apenas um ano (assumindo as diferentes fases de crescimento e provimento dos serviços ambientais).
... Managing the natural capital of the cities is challenging (Endreny et al., 2017) and tree rings may contribute with insights on tree development. Tree age and growth rate are two straightforward parameters obtained from tree rings that are used to assess tree senescence (Albayrak et al., 2020), spreading dynamics of invasive species in urban vacant sites and peri-urban forests (Moriya et al., 2017), and the development of specific allometric equations for urban trees (Shoda et al., 2020). ...
Article
The growing urban complexity calls for evidence-based decision-making to guarantee efficient policies and outcomes. This is only possible by bridging the gap between academia and public sector through comprehensive methods and synthesis capacity. Dendrochronology, or the study of tree rings, is renowned for its support of public policies, but its applications in cities have lagged behind. To bridge this knowledge gap and prove urban dendrochronology as a valuable toolkit for evidence-based decision-making, we systematically reviewed 181 studies on urban and peri-urban forests. The wide geographical distribution of the studies points to the value of urban dendrochronology under various climate and demographic conditions, as does the wide array of applications in the assessment of climate risk, cultural heritage, environmental pollution, and tree management. The discussion of these goals is oriented toward decision-makers. We highlighted the gains from urban dendrochronology, its practical applications, and the requirements of timing and resources to produce the evidence needed. We deliberately avoided any reference to underlying biological mechanisms because these should be under the care of their academic partners. We also observed a significant gap in the interpretation of the results of the studies in terms of urban planning, pointing to the need of engaging the authors in supporting the needs of cities. Thus, this systematic review proves dendrochronology as a valuable toolkit for decision-making and it helps to build a bridge between academia and decision-makers for more efficient urban planning.
... When these processes become useful, they are recognized as ecosystem services, i.e. services aimed, directly or indirectly, at the needs of man and which guarantee the life of all species (Daily, 1997;Costanza, 1997;Daily et al., 2000;Xu et al., 2016). Ecosystem services include not only the supply or maintenance of goods such as air, food, and water, which satisfy primary human needs, but also services capable, through the benefits produced, of determining the degree of human satisfaction with respect to environment, to reduce the psychophysiological stress and, in general, to contribute to the quality of life (Vries et al., 2003;Douglas et al., 2017;Endreny et al., 2017;Ghazalli et al., 2019;Narducci et al., 2019). Still, ecosystems have suffered profound damage over the past fifty years caused by both human activities and natural disasters. ...
Article
With reference to the important issues on sustainable urban development, ecosystem services play a significant role today, able to significantly affect the quality of life in cities. In this perspective, urban regeneration processes must be encouraged through the creation of green areas. Such intervention strategies enhance the livability and resilience of growing cities by: (i) generating ecosystem services (ESs); (ii) containing the negative impacts of urbanization; and (iii) contributing to a Circular Economy (CE). This study uses techniques of multi-criteria evaluation with to characterize a methodology that can favor the best localization of urban parks. Elements of novelty of the research concern both the logical structure of the implemented algorithms, based on a panel of rigorously selected indicators, and the consistency checks between the different methods examined. Specifically, we propose a set of six indicators of general validity and easy to estimate, with aim to define: (i) a methodology easily replicable to different socio-economic contexts; (ii) a useful tool for decision-makers and urban planners as they are easy to be practically implemented. Once indicators are selected, we implement and compare four different evaluation approaches – AHP, ELECTRE, TOPSIS and VIKOR – to select the optimal localization of a green areas in an Italian city. The goal is to provide a more cohesive framework for the evaluation of the optimal location of urban green strategies, in the light of economic, environmental, and social criteria.
... Large-and micro-scale sewage irrigation fields disappearing from the city landscape should return to the city and fit into the pattern of biorevitalisation of the urban fabric due to the package of services and functions they perform, including: ecological, climatic, hydrological, landscape, spatial, environmental, cultural and social, educational, and tourist and recreational ( Figure 3). The most extensive of these areas provide ecological, hydrological, and climatic functions, where their complexity is clearly visible [113][114][115][116][117]. Social interest and the need for environmental responsibility require the use of models based on the best ecological practices and proper environmental management of these areas in the urban fabric by including them in an open system of blue and green infrastructure, thus creating good solutions for the city, which is reflected in the spatial functions and landscape provided by sewage irrigation fields. ...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, we examined the fate and future of sewage irrigation fields; historic urban wetlands that served as sewer drainage before modern sewage treatment plants were built. Our aim in this study was to reappraise sewage irrigation fields in the urban fabric of modern cities and to analyse the possibility of re-integrating them into the ecosystem services system, as well as into green and blue infrastructure, providing leisure and recreational opportunities, stabilising the city’s biodiversity and microclimate, and increasing water retention in these areas. The research was based on the identification of the location of sewage irrigation fields in green and blue infrastructure systems, determination of the scale and extent of their connections to the urban fabric and an analysis of their multi-functionality including: ecological, climatic, hydrological, landscape, spatial, environmental, cultural and social, educational, and tourist and recreational functions.
... The maintenance of urban areas brings also challenges for sustainable development. Artificially sealed surfaces and a decrease in urban green coverage lead to a decrease in and a deterioration of ecosystem services, e.g., heat mitigation, carbon storage, stormwater retention, and oxygen production [21]. The information products that are derived from EO data have been widely used for urban modelling for decades and have proven their potential for predicting urban growth [22]. ...
Article
Full-text available
In the past decades, various Earth observation-based time series products have emerged, which have enabled studies and analysis of global change processes. Besides their contribution to understanding past processes, time series datasets hold enormous potential for predictive modeling and thereby meet the demands of decision makers on future scenarios. In order to further exploit these data, a novel pixel-based approach has been introduced, which is the spatio-temporal matrix (STM). The approach integrates the historical characteristics of a specific land cover at a high temporal frequency in order to interpret the spatial and temporal information for the neighborhood of a given target pixel. The provided information can be exploited with common predictive models and algorithms. In this study, this approach was utilized and evaluated for the prediction of future urban/built-settlement growth. Random forest and multi-layer perceptron were employed for the prediction. The tests have been carried out with training strategies based on a one-year and a ten-year time span for the urban agglomerations of Surat (India), Ho-Chi-Minh City (Vietnam), and Abidjan (Ivory Coast). The slope, land use, exclusion, urban, transportation, hillshade (SLEUTH) model was selected as a baseline indicator for the performance evaluation. The statistical results from the receiver operating characteristic curve (ROC) demonstrate a good ability of the STM to facilitate the prediction of future settlement growth and its transferability to different cities, with area under the curve (AUC) values greater than 0.85. Compared with SLEUTH, the STM-based model achieved higher AUC in all of the test cases, while being independent of the additional datasets for the restricted and the preferential development areas.
... With the majority of the world's population inhabiting urban areas (United Nations, 2018) the value of urban trees is increasingly being recognised for the benefits they bring to these people, including helping to tackle the urban heat island effects, mitigate air pollution, and bolstering mental wellbeing (Endreny et al., 2017;van den Bosch & Ode Sang, 2017). In this paper, we take "urban forest" to mean all trees within a defined urban area (Doick et al., 2016). ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban tree management in England is led by local governments who may describe their policies and practices in a publicly accessible document, termed an urban tree strategy. To understand the role of such documents in urban tree management, this research investigated their prevalence, production, content and use in England. Concurrently, to understand the “life-cycle” of a tree strategy - the processes underlying the production and use of strategies - we conducted semi-structured interviews with 26 local governments. We found 143 of 353 (41%) English local governments had a publicly accessible urban tree strategy. We conducted a review of the content of half (72) of these strategies. We found tree strategies to be highly variable but diverged into two main forms, the ‘strategy’ form and the ‘policy’ form. The former is a holistic and forward-looking document, the latter a focused document centred on essential management and legislated duties. The interviews highlighted lack of time, knowledge, money, and/or political buy-in as barriers to strategy production. The variability in the existence and content of strategies could lead to differing urban forest management practices across England, which are not in line with recent national environmental objectives and recommended guidance.
... 2000), although in practice this can include the preservation, maintenance, sustainable use and enhancement of the components of biological diversity as well as exploring how society lives in harmony with nature. Although cities have been seen to hold little conservation value, there is increasing recognition of the role that urban green spaces, waterways and wetlands play in conservation, and its wider contributions to human health and well-being (Aronson et al., 2014;Endreny et al., 2017;Parris et al., 2018). Cities also provide habitat for threatened species, and some threatened species are found exclusively in urban areas (Soanes and Lentini, 2019). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform the ways we govern biodiversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity aims to develop and implement a transformative framework for the coming decades. However, the question of what transformative biodiversity governance entails and how it can be implemented is complex. This book argues that transformative biodiversity governance means prioritizing ecocentric, compassionate and just sustainable development. This involves implementing five governance approaches - integrative, inclusive, adaptive, transdisciplinary and anticipatory governance - in conjunction and focused on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and unsustainability. Transforming Biodiversity Governance is an invaluable source for academics, policy makers and practitioners working in biodiversity and sustainability governance. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... The latter is required to retrieve the full value from these investments since many of the ecosystem services provided by an urban forest will vary over the lifespan of the forest itself. A number of recent publications have called out the urban forest as a key component of nearly all of the urbanand transport-planning innovations proposed for achieving carbon neutral, liveable and healthy cities (e.g., Carrus et al., 2015;Samson et al., 2015;Endreny et al., 2017;Endreny, 2018;Nieuwenhuijsen, 2020). ...
... 2000), although in practice this can include the preservation, maintenance, sustainable use and enhancement of the components of biological diversity as well as exploring how society lives in harmony with nature. Although cities have been seen to hold little conservation value, there is increasing recognition of the role that urban green spaces, waterways and wetlands play in conservation, and its wider contributions to human health and well-being (Aronson et al., 2014;Endreny et al., 2017;Parris et al., 2018). Cities also provide habitat for threatened species, and some threatened species are found exclusively in urban areas (Soanes and Lentini, 2019). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over fifty years of global conservation has failed to bend the curve of biodiversity loss, so we need to transform the ways we govern biodiversity. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity aims to develop and implement a transformative framework for the coming decades. However, the question of what transformative biodiversity governance entails and how it can be implemented is complex. This book argues that transformative biodiversity governance means prioritizing ecocentric, compassionate and just sustainable development. This involves implementing five governance approaches - integrative, inclusive, adaptive, transdisciplinary and anticipatory governance - in conjunction and focused on the underlying causes of biodiversity loss and unsustainability. Transforming Biodiversity Governance is an invaluable source for academics, policy makers and practitioners working in biodiversity and sustainability governance. This is one of a series of publications associated with the Earth System Governance Project. For more publications, see www.cambridge.org/earth-system-governance. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.
... Considering the differences in tree conditions and tree species, it was found that completely covered streets and high-density urban forests were not the ideal management methods for optimizing the urban ecosystem services. Using i-Tree Eco model to evaluate the ecosystem services of urban forests, which enhanced the attention of urban forest protection strategies and human wellbeing for urban residents, especially in big cities [87]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban ecosystem services provide many benefits for human beings. Given the dramatic increase of urbanization, maintaining sustainability of cities relies heavily on ecosystem services, and it is crucial for quantifying, managing, and optimizing urban ecosystem services to promote social and ecological sustainable development. This study presents the review of models for assessing urban ecosystem services through gathering the pertinent literatures which were published recent years. The main types of approaches for assessing urban ecosystem services were summarized, and the model simulation approach was detailed. From modelling techniques to the existing models, it was found that a process-based model is, relatively, a better way to detect the mechanism of urban ecological processes and simulate the future dynamic changes of urban ecosystem services. Three key limitations of existing products and frameworks were identified: (1) lacking understanding of multiple urban ecosystem services interactions, (2) ignoring accounting the socioeconomic factors into dynamics of urban ecosystem, and (3) lacking considerations of feedback effects between social system and urban ecosystem. The study concludes with outlooks that a comprehensive social-ecosystem model based on the social-ecological framework is helpful to reveal the relationships and interactions among various urban ecosystem services, and can better assess how human-induced urban growth affects ecosystem services, and better describe the feedback effect between the social environment and urban ecosystem services, as well as dynamically predict the changes of urban ecosystem services under different scenarios in future long time series.
... UTC data can be used by communities to guide goal setting, planting programs, policies, and management in order to increase the benefits provided by the urban forest (Kimball et al., 2014). For example, Endreny et al. (2017) used UTC to estimate the ecosystem services of the urban forests in 10 megacities across the world. UTC is also often used by governments and other organizations to set goals that drive large scale tree planting initiatives (Young, 2011;Nguyen et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) greatly enhances the livability of cities by reducing urban heat buildup, mitigating stormwater runoff, and filtering airborne particulates, among other ecological services. These benefits, combined with the relative ease of measuring tree cover from aerial imagery, have led many cities to adopt management strategies based on UTC goals. In this study, we conducted canopy analyses for 300 cities in Florida to assess the impacts of development practices, urban forest ordinances, and hurricanes on tree cover. Within the cities sampled, UTC ranged from 5.9 to 68.7% with a median canopy coverage of 32.3% Our results indicate that the peak gust speeds recorded during past hurricanes events were a significant predictor of canopy coverage (P = 0.001) across the sampled cities. As peak gust speeds increased from 152 km/h (i.e., a lower-intensity Category 1 storm) to 225 km/h (lower-intensity Category 4 and the maximum gusts captured in our data), predicted canopy in developed urban areas decreased by 7.7%. Beyond the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms, we found that historic landcover and two out of eight urban forest ordinances were significant predictors of existing canopy coverage (P-landcover < 0.001; P-tree preservation ordinance = 0.02, P-heritage tree ordinance = 0.03). Results indicate that some local policies and tree protections can potentially impact urban tree canopy, even in the face of rapid development and periodic natural disturbances.
... Yu et al. (2017), on the other hand, study economic compensation between carbon emitter and sequester cities within the same region in Hunan Province, China. The estimation of carbon sequestration to urban ecosystems needs more development for full accounting and Endreny et al. (2017) propose a novel method for assessing urban tree cover. ...
Article
Carbon neutrality has become central in policy discourse and cities’ climate actions are crucial to achieve this goal. Consequently, many cities have already published ambitious climate neutrality target years and are preparing for transition to climate neutrality. This study presents findings from the first ever literature review on the carbon-neutral city concept, covering definition, assessment approaches, and barriers and drivers for transition to carbon neutrality. These findings are combined with interviews with Finnish cities aiming at carbon neutrality to explore gaps between research and practice. More clarity is needed on the definition of carbon-neutral city concept and especially on the role of offsetting the emissions (a specific feature compared to other urban climate concepts). The lack of consistency in city carbon accounting methods and emission scopes making cities’ carbon neutrality goals incomparable, thus calling for harmonization and guidance on common assessment methods. In addition to research, climate networks play an important role in the transition to carbon neutrality. Cities have set ambitious goals and need support to develop action plans, assess actions, come up with creative and innovative ideas and increase collaboration with various stakeholders. Development of ways to support cities that have taken on ambitious carbon neutrality targets would benefit from more systematic research on transition to carbon neutrality from different contexts capturing the lessons learned. There is a need for methods that are flexible enough to accommodate adjustments to local conditions and needs, but also consider broader system transition.
... Natural capital, which may at least translate into urban green areas within and around the city, is a strategic importance aspect as it allows urban pollution to be uptaken and limited, benefiting human life and biodiversity. In fact, nature conservation strategies and maximisation of space for urban forests would philtre pollutants from urban metabolism and improve human livelihoods (Endreny et al., 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
In the last few decades, the rapid urbanisation process has led to an exponential growth of resource use, making increasingly difficult to ensure the principles of sustainability within urban systems. Similar to living organisms, cities have always required resources and energy to survive. However, technological development and population growth have consequently led to increasing urban inflows and outflows, in so deeply altering the relations of cities with the environment as a source and a sink. Examples include the extraction of minerals for built environment and industrial processes providing manufactured goods; the conversion of fossil energy into electricity for buildings and fuel for vehicles; the use of natural resources (e.g., land or water) to support urban expansion activities. In a planet with limited resources, the challenge should not be to find new resources but to improve the way we use them and the lifestyles that they support, or in other words, to plan strategies to generate more value and higher quality of life with fewer inputs. It is well-known that cities depend on imports of external resources; however, they also benefit from internal resources and ecosystem services. Based on this framework, an urgent effort is needed to explore crucial urban issues that have not yet been adequately investigated. A strategic resource management is needed to actually move towards sustainable cities. In particular, a special focus should be placed on: (i) to monitor and properly manage the city's resources and energy systems within the metaphor of “urban metabolism;” (ii) to define innovative approaches, actions and strategies that ensure the sustainable management of non-renewable urban resources; (iii) to protect and restore urban ecosystem services as valuable renewable resources, and finally (iv) to envisage participatory governance processes for the appropriate allocation of resources to the common well-being.
... The economic benefits of urban forests have been quantified in a recent study. According to the authors, the economic benefit increases with tree cover and amounts to 0.93 million USD savings in air pollution health care costs, USD 20000 by capturing water runoff, and USD 478000 in building energy heating and cooling savings (Endreny et al., 2017). ...
Chapter
Full-text available
Description of peatland conservation and drainage avoidance as a SOC conservation practice. Impact on SOC, other benefits, potential drawbacks and recommendations.
... Some studies have proven urban forest development's ability to increase the income of surrounding communities [9][10][11]. Still, the threats to these forests' sustainability in their use as recreational facilities and environmental services also need to be considered. ...
Article
The quite high community activities in urban areas have caused the Bukit Pangonan Urban Forest to become an alternative tourism spot easily accessible by urban communities. There is, however, the need for natural tourism development in regional planning and conservation towards increasing the economic value of these urban forests. Therefore, this study was conducted to analyze the economic value of nature tourism in Bukit Pangonan Urban Forest and its role in environmental conservation. This involved the selection of 100 respondents as samples through incidental sampling techniques. Data was collected using interviews and analyzed quantitatively with the travel cost method and descriptively. The results showed the economic value of the Bukit Pangonan Urban Forest is Rp 4,557,944,880 per year, with visitors having a surplus of Rp 119,433 per visitor per visit and spending Rp 96,630/person/visit with the highest on transportation. The role of urban forests in environmental conservation is quite significant in preventing environmental damage, and it is possible to enhance this through the addition and diversification of tree species, protection of biodiversity, selection of appropriate tree species, development of environmentally friendly tourism facilities, providing conservation education to visitors, and policy support from the government. Moreover, it is also possible for the government to use Bukit Pangonan Urban Forest as a model to develop urban forest tourism in other areas.
... In this context, i-Tree, developed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, provides a set of web-based tools to quantify ecosystem services and estimates the benefits of urban and rural tree cover. Over the past decade, numerous studies have used the i-Tree assessments for mapping UTC and estimating ecosystem services in rapidly urbanizing areas across the world (Kim et al., 2015;Mills et al., 2016;Nowak et al., 2016;Endreny et al., 2017;Qian et al., 2019;Nyelele & Kroll, 2020). Among i-Tree tools, the i-Tree canopy is used to classify and calculate the percentage of each land cover type and estimate the ecosystem services and benefits of UTC (or in other words tree/ shrub cover) in a defined area using a random point sampling approach (Olivatto, 2017;Rogers & Jaluzot, 2015;USDA, 2021). ...
Article
Full-text available
The availability of urban tree cover (UTC) is one of the most important components of healthy urban environments that support the provision of many ecosystem services. The development in Turkey keeps going within/around urban environments, and the degradation and loss of urban vegetation and associated ecosystem services continues. In this study, we aimed to assess the impacts of land cover change on UTC and ecosystem services provided by them in the case of Efeler District, in Aydın Province of Turkey between 2004 and 2021. The ecosystem services and benefits estimated with the i-Tree Canopy tool includes carbon sequestration and storage as well as the removal of nitrogen dioxide, ozone, sulphur dioxide, PM2.5 and PM10 as well as their economic valuation. Our results show that there was a decline trend in UTC between the years of 2004 and 2021. The loss of UTC was caused by the combined effects of new development pressure in and around the natural/semi-natural and agricultural areas, as well as the new reconstruction sites around old settlements. During the last 17 years, the loss of 61.38 ha UTC created a decrease in the carbon and air pollution benefits and economic valuation estimates. It would be premature to make direct use of our results in planning, without further analysis of the composition and age structure of tree/shrub species. However, the approach used in this study does demonstrate the principle and potential nature of such a methodology where comprehensive analysis are limited by the lack of sufficient data, time and labour.
... A second substantive issue is increasing recognition of the health and wellbeing benefits of well-planned and managed urban forests (e.g. Endreny et al. 2017;Wood et al. 2017), an awareness has been enhanced by the COVID-19 pandemic (Breed et al. 2020;Berdejo-Espinola et al. 2021). These are part of the wide array of ecosystem, economic, cultural and social benefits of urban forests (Salbaitano et al. 2016;Frantzeskaki 2019), amongst which is now a renewed focus on the role of urban forests in moderating urban temperatures (Norton et al. 2015). ...
Article
Australia and New Zealand share many historical and contemporary commonalities. These define five contemporary forest environmental frontiers—for First Nations peoples, between agriculture and forestry, in forest management, in urban and peri-urban environments, and in relation to climate change. In both countries, the First Nations frontier is expanding in scale and significance with those peoples’ rights to land and forests. Frontiers with agriculture and in forest management are longstanding but dynamic and as yet little realised in relation to the need for forest and landscape restoration. Both countries are highly urbanised, elevating the significance of the urban and periurban frontier, particularly in the context of climate change. In both countries, forests will be profoundly impacted by climate change and are central to mitigation and adaptation strategies. Experience within and intersections between the frontiers offer encouraging prospects for synergies and for learning between the two countries and more widely.
... It is of utmost importance to comprehend the subtleties of planted indigenous forests to rehabilitate them efficiently (Oldfield et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2017;Miller et al., 2017). This is deprecatory for urban forests in particular as they provide various benefits, such as environmental services (Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017), enhances well-being and health of humans (Alberti, 2005); and retreat for endemic biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Forests have been undergoing through immense pressure due to the factors like human activities; procurement of forest products and climate change which is a major factor influencing this pressure buildup on forests. Climate change and temperature increase caused by anthropogenic activities have notably affected forests and wildlife on a global scale. High temperature increases the soil-water evaporation, resulting in drier soils, and water loss in forest flora. The incidence of forest fires has doubled since 1984 and these are linked to global warming. Drought influences fuel moisture by bringing about physiological changes in forest vegetation leading to forest fires. Forest resilience is hampered because of temperature and drought stress at the developing stage of plant's life cycle leading to the shift in plant species in those areas. Forest fire incidences can be managed with proper management strategies such as sustainable, community and urban forest management. A careful monitoring of stress precursors, subsistence uses of forests, ecological education and planting of near native and new indigenous plant species are the tools that can aid in efficient forest management.
... It is of utmost importance to comprehend the subtleties of planted indigenous forests to rehabilitate them efficiently (Oldfield et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2017;Miller et al., 2017). This is deprecatory for urban forests in particular as they provide various benefits, such as environmental services (Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017), enhances well-being and health of humans (Alberti, 2005); and retreat for endemic biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
Forests have been undergoing through immense pressure due to the factors like human activities; procurement of forest products and climate change which is a major factor influencing this pressure buildup on forests. Climate change and temperature increase caused by anthropogenic activities have notably affected forests and wildlife on a global scale. High temperature increases the soil-water evaporation, resulting in drier soils, and water loss in forest flora. The incidence of forest fires has doubled since 1984 and these are linked to global warming. Drought influences fuel moisture by bringing about physiological changes in forest vegetation leading to forest fires. Forest resilience is hampered because of temperature and drought stress at the developing stage of plant's life cycle leading to the shift in plant species in those areas. Forest fire incidences can be managed with proper management strategies such as sustainable, community and urban forest management. A careful monitoring of stress precursors, subsistence uses of forests, ecological education and planting of near native and new indigenous plant species are the tools that can aid in efficient forest management.
... It is of utmost importance to comprehend the subtleties of planted indigenous forests to rehabilitate them efficiently (Oldfield et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2017;Miller et al., 2017). This is deprecatory for urban forests in particular as they provide various benefits, such as environmental services (Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017), enhances well-being and health of humans (Alberti, 2005); and retreat for endemic biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014). ...
... It is of utmost importance to comprehend the subtleties of planted indigenous forests to rehabilitate them efficiently (Oldfield et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2017;Miller et al., 2017). This is deprecatory for urban forests in particular as they provide various benefits, such as environmental services (Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017), enhances well-being and health of humans (Alberti, 2005); and retreat for endemic biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Forests have been undergoing through immense pressure due to the factors like human activities; procurement of forest products and climate change which is a major factor influencing this pressure buildup on forests. Climate change and temperature increase caused by anthropogenic activities have notably affected forests and wildlife on a global scale. High temperature increases the soil-water evaporation, resulting in drier soils, and water loss in forest flora. The incidence of forest fires has doubled since 1984 and these are linked to global warming. Drought influences fuel moisture by bringing about physiological changes in forest vegetation leading to forest fires. Forest resilience is hampered because of temperature and drought stress at the developing stage of plant's life cycle leading to the shift in plant species in those areas. Forest fire incidences can be managed with proper management strategies such as sustainable, community and urban forest management. A careful monitoring of stress precursors, subsistence uses of forests, ecological education and planting of near native and new indigenous plant species are the tools that can aid in efficient forest management.
... It is of utmost importance to comprehend the subtleties of planted indigenous forests to rehabilitate them efficiently (Oldfield et al., 2015;Wallace et al., 2017;Miller et al., 2017). This is deprecatory for urban forests in particular as they provide various benefits, such as environmental services (Dobbs et al., 2011;Endreny et al., 2017), enhances well-being and health of humans (Alberti, 2005); and retreat for endemic biodiversity (Aronson et al., 2014). ...
Article
Forests have been undergoing through immense pressure due to the factors like human activities; procurement of forest products and climate change which is a major factor influencing this pressure buildup on forests. Climate change and temperature increase caused by anthropogenic activities have notably affected forests and wildlife on a global scale. High temperature increases the soil-water evaporation, resulting in drier soils, and water loss in forest flora. The incidence of forest fires has doubled since 1984 and these are linked to global warming. Drought influences fuel moisture by bringing about physiological changes in forest vegetation leading to forest fires. Forest resilience is hampered because of temperature and drought stress at the developing stage of plant's life cycle leading to the shift in plant species in those areas. Forest fire incidences can be managed with proper management strategies such as sustainable, community and urban forest management. A careful monitoring of stress precursors, subsistence uses of forests, ecological education and planting of near native and new indigenous plant species are the tools that can aid in efficient forest management.
... It is reasonable to assume that this relationship also applies to new plantings, the presence of which, according to research conducted in megacities, would increase the value of ecosystem services by 85% [150]. It is therefore justified to promote activities which lead to an increase in the tree cover. ...
Article
Full-text available
One of the consequences of the constant urban development in numerous countries is a growing concentration of air pollution, which adversely affects both the environment and people’s health. One of the ways of changing this negative trend is to maintain green areas and trees within cities, as they serve many ecosystem functions, including biological absorption of particles and other types of air pollution. This article provides the findings of a study carried out among the residents of Warsaw, the capital of Poland, in order to assess social awareness of air pollution and the importance of trees. The study of the residents’ awareness was supplemented with the assessment of the parameters of the trees’ capacity for pollution absorption in selected locations performed with the help of the i-Tree Eco tool, which allowed the authors to compare the residents’ impressions on the role of trees in the process of absorption of pollution with their actual potential. The analyses showed that the majority of city residents are concerned with the problem of air in the city, but at the same time failing to notice its negative impact on their health. The majority of respondents were not aware of the role the trees play in the process of pollution absorption, suggesting that there is a real need for raising social awareness of functions served by trees and green areas in urban spaces. The comparison of the city residents’ opinions on the importance of trees in the process of pollution absorption with objective data obtained with the help of i-Tree Eco tool shows that the majority of people’s impressions of pollution absorption by trees in urban areas is correct.
... Woody plants are the predominant factor affecting the reduction of the CO 2 concentration in urban ecosystems. Therefore, the selection of highly productive tree species for urban gardening is of utmost importance [2,3]. In addition to CO 2 absorption, trees perform an environment-forming function by regulating the microclimate [4,5] and a protective function by reducing the amount of ultraviolet radiation and protecting urban dwellers from atmospheric pollutants [1,6]. ...
... Moreover, the model has some limitations. For example, application of the i-Tree Eco tool was limited to yearly average analysis because of the difficulty in finding correct and higher temporal resolution samples, such as daily, seasonal, or annually [91]. Further, it does involve field surveying (more time required if it is large scale research) and data interpretation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Small scale urban green-blue infrastructure (indicated as GBI hereafter) comprises huge underexploited areas for urban development and planning. This review article aims to highlight the relevance and knowledge gaps regarding GBI from the perspective of the food–energy–water (FEW) nexus, these being key resources for the survival of human communities. In particular, this review was focused on publications on urban ecosystem services (positive effects) and dis-services (negative effects) associated with different GBI typologies. The review proved that GBI can contribute environmentally, socially, and economically to FEW security and urban sustainability. Yet, such positive effects must be considered against ecosystem dis-services tradeoffs, including urban food production, commonly connected with heavy water and energy consumption, specifically under dry climate conditions, and sometimes related to an excessive use of manure, pesticides, or fertilizers. These conditions could pose either a risk to water quality and local insect survival or serve enhanced mosquito breeding because of irrigation. Up to now, the review evidenced that few nexus modeling techniques have been discussed in terms of their benefits, drawbacks, and applications. Guidance is provided on the choice of an adequate modeling approach. Water, energy, and food are intrinsically associated physically. However, depending on their management, their tradeoffs are often increased. There is a need to minimize these tradeoffs and to build up synergies between food, energy, and water using a holistic approach. This is why the FEW nexus approach offers good insights to address the relation between three important individual resource components of sustainability.
... UTC data can be used by communities to guide goal setting, planting programs, policies, and management in order to increase the benefits provided by the urban forest (Kimball et al., 2014). For example, Endreny, et al. (2017) used UTC to estimate the ecosystem services of the urban forests in ten megacities across the world. UTC is also often used by governments and other organizations to set goals that drive large scale tree planting initiatives (Young, 2011;Nguyen et al., 2017). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) greatly enhances the livability of cities by reducing urban heat buildup, mitigating stormwater runoff, and filtering airborne particulates, among other ecological services. These benefits, combined with the relative ease of measuring tree cover from aerial imagery, have led many cities to adopt management strategies based on UTC goals. In this study, we conducted canopy analyses for the 300 largest cities in Florida to assess the impacts of development practices, urban forest ordinances, and hurricanes on tree cover. Within the cities sampled, UTC canopy ranged from 5.9% to 68.7% with a median canopy coverage of 32.3% Our results indicate that the peak gust speeds recorded during past hurricanes events were a significant predictor of canopy coverage (P-value = <0.001) across the sampled cities. As peak gust speeds increased from 152 km/h (i.e., a lower-intensity Category 1 storm) to 225 km/h (lower-intensity Category 4 and the maximum gusts captured in our data), predicted canopy in developed urban areas decreased by 7.7%. Beyond the impacts of hurricanes and tropical storms, we found that historic landcover and two out of eight urban forest ordinances were significant predictors of existing canopy coverage (P-landcover <0.001; P-tree preservation ordinance = 0.02, P-heritage tree ordinance = 0.03). Results indicate that local policies and tree protections can protect or enhance urban tree canopy, even in the face of rapid development and periodic natural disturbances.
... Both the natural science data and the social science data originated from well-respected sources. The i-Tree software is commonly used in examinations of urban tree canopies (e.g., Jayasooriya et al. 2017;Endreny et al. 2017;Scholz et al. 2018;Baraldi et al. 2019;Pregitzer et al. 2019;Amini Parsa et al. 2019). Block Group data from the American Community Survey are commonly used to analyze the social characteristics of the distributions of urban greenspace, tree canopy, and vegetation in U.S. (e.g., Schwarz et al. 2015;Nesbitt and Meitner 2016;Nesbitt et al. 2019), and similar data are used to study the socioeconomic characteristics of the distribution of urban greenery in other countries (e.g., Cohen et al. 2012;Escobedo et al. 2015). ...
Preprint
Full-text available
We examined if the cooling services of trees in Asheville, NC, are distributed equitably across socioeconomic areas. Previous studies have shown that inequitable relationships tend to exist between demographic factors and both tree canopies and their cooling services. However, our results were too weak to be used for policy recommendations for three reasons. First, the 1,000-point tree survey did not cover the Census Block Groups well, which caused us to drop areas of the city from our analysis. The omissions may be critical because our results changed as we reduced our sample size. Second, using heat maps to measure the cooling effects of trees would require a design to summarize those effects across a Block Group (median size 1 square mile) and its residents (median population 1,500 people). Third, the social science design must account for raised aspects such as impervious surfaces, daytime versus nighttime, water bodies, and elevation. We conclude that only by carefully integrating natural and social science aspects in the study design can equity issues be assessed and effective policy recommendations developed. Abstract We examined if the cooling services of trees in Asheville, NC, are distributed equitably across socioeconomic areas. Previous studies have shown that inequitable relationships tend to exist between demographic factors and both tree canopies and their cooling services. However, our results were too weak to be used for policy recommendations for three reasons. First, the 1,000-point tree survey did not cover the Census Block Groups well, which caused us to drop areas of the city from our analysis. The omissions may be critical because our results changed as we reduced our sample size. Second, using heat maps to measure the cooling effects of trees would require a design to summarize those effects across a Block Group (median size 1 square mile) and its residents (median population 1,500 people). Third, the social science design must account for raised aspects such as impervious surfaces, daytime versus nighttime, water bodies, and elevation. We conclude that only by carefully integrating natural and social science aspects in the study design can equity issues be assessed and effective policy recommendations developed.
Article
Full-text available
The study of carbon dioxide gas exchange of leaves of Prunus laurocerasus L., Laurus nobilis L. and Viburnum tinus L. under various environmental conditions was carried out. The greatest resistance to drought and the ability to absorb CO 2 under hydrothermal stress was found in Viburnum tinus plants. It was determined that the inhibition of the processes of CO 2 absorption with increasing water scarcity begins in the studied species with a decrease in soil moisture to 35% field capacity. Under conditions of soil drought, the amount of CO 2 absorbed by Prunus laurocerasus leaves is reduced by 10 times, Laurus nobilis – by 7 times, Viburnum tinus – by 2 times. The positive carbon dioxide gas exchange of Prunus laurocerasus , Laurus nobilis and Viburnum tinus in the hot dry period, when the amount of CO 2 absorption exceeds its release during respiration by 1–5.1, 1.5–3.7 and 1.1–6.2 times, respectively, indicates a significant potential these species for optimizing the urban ecosystems of the southern regions of Russia. The developed predictive models allow us to perform a quantitative assessment of the ability of plants to absorb carbon dioxide under various environmental conditions.
Article
Community-based forest management takes myriad forms, including community forestry, urban and community forestry, and joint forest management. These variations are all implemented with a promise to include local communities (to varying degrees) in forest decision-making and management, but distinctions are often made between rural versus urban focused research and practice. Such distinctions may be arbitrary and increasingly unnecessary, as rural and urban communities exist on a continuum. To understand whether there is a measurable divide between urban and rural community forestry scholarship, we conduct a systematic bibliometric analysis including examining co-citation networks, citation counts, and keywords. We find there is a multi-dimensional divide between the scholars studying community-based forestry in rural and urban focused contexts, including in terms of discipline, topics of focus, and the intellectual foundations of each community. The separation we find between urban and rural community-based forest research represents an opportunity to explore where researchers and practitioners typically isolated in rural or urban research may learn from and connect with each other. Ultimately, we argue that community-based forestry cannot achieve its potential to improve forests and reduce inequality without increased connections between scholars and practitioners from the often siloed rural and urban communities. Connecting these communities will require increased collaboration between natural and social scientists and increased attention to the research needs of practitioners and local communities, which we argue may help facilitate more just forest governance.
Article
Full-text available
This study mapped and analyzed urban tree canopy change between 2014 and 2019 within the Urban Development Boundary of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The goal was to identify local areas of tree canopy gain or loss over this 5-year period. The comparison is based on land cover maps delineated from WorldView-2 satellite data applying a random forest classification algorithm, in combination with publicly available vector data of infrastructure (roads, railroads) and land use maps (water, cropland). Existing urban tree canopy (EUTC) was computed for census block groups and municipalities to compare tree canopy cover loss or gain to support strategic planning of equitable urban reforestation. For the entire study area, the percentage of EUTC did not change significantly between 2014 (19.9 ± 1.2%) and 2019 (20.1 ± 1.5%). However, some municipalities experienced changes in EUTC by over 10%. Comparison of Landsat-8 Thermal Infrared satellite imagery between both periods identified land cover change patterns that were associated with an increase or decrease in surface temperature. A significantly negative relationship between percentage of African American population and tree canopy in 2014 turned statistically insignificant in 2019, whereas the negative relationship with percentage of Hispanic population further strengthened in 2019 compared to 2014.
Article
Trees are an integral component of the urban environment and important for human well-being, adaption measures to climate change and sustainable urban transformation. Understanding the small-scale impacts of urban trees and strategically managing the ecosystem services they provide requires high-resolution information on urban forest structure, which is still scarce. In contrast, there is an abundance of data portraying urban areas and an associated trend towards smart cities and digital twins as analysis platforms. A GIS workflow is presented in this paper that may close this data gap by classifying the urban forest from LiDAR point clouds, detecting and reconstructing individual crowns, and enabling a tree representation within semantic 3D city models. The workflow is designed to provide robust results for point clouds with a density of at least 4 pts/m² that are widely available. Evaluation was conducted by mapping the urban forest of Dresden (Germany) using a point cloud with 4 pts/m². An object-based data fusion approach is implemented for the classification of the urban forest. A classification accuracy of 95 % for different urban settings is achieved by combining LiDAR with multispectral imagery and a 3D building model. Individual trees are detected by local maxima filtering and crowns are segmented using marker-controlled watershed segmentation. Evaluation highlights the influences of both urban and forest structure on individual tree detection. Substantial differences in detection accuracies are evident between trees along streets (72 %) and structurally more complex tree stands in green areas (31 %), as well as dependencies on tree height and crown diameter. Furthermore, an approach for parameterized reconstruction of tree crowns is presented, which enables efficient and realistic city-wide modeling. The suitability of LiDAR to measure individual tree metrics is illustrated as well as a framework for modeling individual tree crowns via geometric primitives.
Article
Environmental problems such as air pollution are worsening due to urbanization. Urban street trees have the advantage of alleviating environmental problems by carrying out air purification. Thus, it is necessary to obtain street tree information for efficient planting and management of trees. In the present study, the i-Tree Eco model was applied to classify street trees according to species and diameter at breast height. The amount of air pollutant removal, carbon storage, carbon sequestration, and oxygen generation by street trees was calculated. The field data of 43,124 street trees in Suwon, Korea, accounting for a total leaf area of 4,422,190 m2, including ginkgo, zelkova, and Japanese flowering cherry, were used. The total air pollutants (CO, NO2, O3, and SO2) removed by street trees in Suwon were calculated as 7.93 ton/yr. The carbon storage, sequestration, and oxygen production accompanying plant growth were 4,077, 299, and 797 ton/yr, respectively. Ginkgo was found to have the best efficiency in terms of carbon storage and sequestration, accounting for 30.3% and 31.5% of the total carbon storage and sequestration, respectively.
Article
Full-text available
Research has shown that urban tree canopy (UTC) provides a multitude of ecosystem services to people in cities, yet the benefits and costs of trees are not always equitably distributed among residents and households. To support urban forest managers and sustainability planning, many studies have analyzed the relationships between UTC and various morphological and social variables. Most of these studies, however, focus on large cities like Baltimore, MD, Los Angeles, CA, and New York, NY. Yet, small and midsized cities are experiencing the most growth globally, often having more opportunity to alter management strategies and policies to conserve and/or increase canopy cover and other green infrastructure. Using both a linear and spatial regression approach, we analyzed the main drivers of UTC across census block groups in Fort Collins, CO, a midsize, semi-arid city projected to undergo significant population growth in the next 20-30 years. Results from Fort Collins indicated that block groups with older buildings and greater housing density contained more UTC, with 2.2% more canopy cover for every 10 years of building age and 4.1% more for every 10 houses per hectare. We also found that distributional inequities may already be developing within this midsized city, as block groups with more minority communities were associated with lower UTC. We compared the drivers of UTC in Fort Collins to other cities located in different climate regions, or biomes, and in various stages of urban development. Based on these results, we suggested future urban forest management strategies for semi-arid cities like Fort Collins.
Article
Full-text available
Solutions that use stormwater runoff to rapidly establish tree canopy cover in cities have received significant attention. Passive irrigation systems that direct stormwater to trees have the potential to increase growth and transpiration and may limit drought stress. However, little data from the field demonstrates this, and we lack robust and reliable designs which achieve it. Here, we quantified growth and transpiration for trees: (a) in infiltration pits receiving stormwater, with a raised underdrain and internal water storage (drained), (b) next to infiltration pits receiving stormwater but without an underdrain and internal water storage (adjacent), and (c) planted in standard pits, not receiving stormwater (control). Trees in drained pits grew twice as fast as control trees in the first 2 years, but fast initial growth rates were not sustained in years three and four. Trees outgrowing the small infiltration pits, rather than a lack of water, was most likely responsible for growth rates slowing down. Despite this, rapid initial growth for trees in drained pits meant trees were larger by year three and transpired more than twice as much (5.1 L d⁻¹) as trees adjacent to pits (2.4 L d⁻¹) or control trees (2.3 L d⁻¹). No trees showed drought stress during the study. However, some trees planted adjacent to infiltration pits showed waterlogging stress, suggesting caution installing infiltration pits adjacent to establishing trees in fine‐textured soils. Overall, our results suggest passive irrigation systems can substantially increase initial tree growth, thereby facilitating greater cooling and runoff reduction through increased transpiration.
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the ecosystem services provided by urban green spaces, in terms of their environmental, economic, and social benefits, is essential for a better management of area. Chulalongkorn University Centenary Park (CU 100) was established to mitigate the effects of climate change, especially flood prevention. This study focused on quantifying the ecosystem services provided by the trees in the park in terms of regulating and provisioning services. A publicly available tool, the i-Tree Eco international software, was used with data obtained from a local weather station as proxies to determine the accuracy of the analysis. Services, quantified in terms of monetary value, included avoided runoff, carbon storage, carbon sequestration, pollution removal, and timber price. The total monetary benefits, obtained from 697 trees (56 species, 49 genera, and 22 families), were estimated at USD 101,400. Of the total services, provisioning services contributed 75% to the total monetary value. Among all regulating services, the avoided runoff contributed about 60%, which was considered as the goal achieved by the park design. Azadirachta indica A. Juss (USD 518.75/tree−1/year−1), Shorea roxburghii G. Don (USD 417.17/tree−1/year−1) and Millettia leucantha Kurz (USD 414.87/tree−1/year−1) provided the greatest benefit, as indicated by a high value of provisioning services in terms of a high timber quality. These results can be used when planning the composition of trees to be planted in urban areas to increase both green spaces and maximize ecosystem services to improve the vitality of human well-being.
Article
Environmental quality and the citizens' well-being largely depend on the urban forests. But managing this natural capital is challenging for its biological complexity and interactions with other environmental, social, and economic aspects of the cities. In line with the current digital revolution with the rise of Smart Cities, the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is becoming more common, including in urban forestry. In this systematic review, we evaluated 67 studies on the interplay between AI and urban forestry surveyed on Science Direct and Scopus to provide an overview of the state of the art and identify new research avenues. The sample includes studies in 23 countries and 85 cities, including 5 megacities, comprising the remote assessment of canopy cover and species distribution; ecosystem services assessment; management practices; and socioeconomic aspects of urban forestry. Most studies focused on extant urban forests, with few examples evaluating temporal trends, and only one focused on future scenarios despite the predictive potential of AI. A total of 22 AI methods were employed in these studies. Only half of them point to clear advantages of the chosen methods, such as robustness against missing data, overfitting, collinearity, non-linearity, non-normality, the combination of discrete and continuous variables, and higher accuracy. The choice of these methods depends on the various combinations of aim, timescale, data type, and data source. The application of AI in urban forestry is in full growth and will support decision making to improve livability in the cities.
Article
Full-text available
It is essential to know the parameters of trees making up a city’s green infrastructure for evaluating the functions of its ecosystems and ecosystem services being provided. Traditional methods of creating tree inventories proved to be slow and costly, while not being able to provide sufficient data for ecosystem services mapping. Laser scanning methods can be used to obtain accurate measurements of tree dimensions, crown size measurements and overall tree structure details. They can be used to analyze large forested areas at a fraction of the time needed to measure each tree individually by hand. The goal of this study was to conduct an approbation of ground-based 3D scanning methods and test their capabilities of obtaining tree parameters for use in green infrastructure inventories. The research is based on scans and analysis of sites of the green fund of Moscow, Russia, during the vegetation periods of the years 2019-2020. LiDAR scanning allows automatic georeferencing of data and creates detailed 3D geometry of tree objects. This enables previously impossible measurements of tree dimensions to be taken and calculated: aboveground biomass and crown area. Such methods can automate the process of creating tree inventory databases, while eliminating subjective bias when recording measurements.
Article
The establishment of the road green belt (RGB) is an effective means to reduce particle matter (PM2.5) emissions from road traffic. This study tested the ability of 23 common tree species in Shenzhen to reduce PM2.5 concentrations using field investigations and wind tunnel tests. The association between leaf microstructure and individual reduction ability was also analyzed. Finally, the impact of three RGB configurations (i.e., arbor, shrub, arbor + shrub) on road PM2.5 dispersion and deposition was simulated using the ENVI-met three-dimensional aerodynamic model, based on which an optimal RGB configuration was proposed. There were three key findings of the tests. First, the wind speed was the main factor affecting the PM2.5 concentration (54.2%), followed by vehicle flow (27.7%), temperature (14.2%), and time factor (7.6%). Second, the range of dry deposition velocity (Vd) was 0.04–6.4 m/s, and the dominant dust-retaining plant species were the evergreen trees, Ficus microcarpa and Ficus altissima, and the evergreen shrubs, Codiaeum variegatum and Fagraea ceilanica. A higher proportion of grooves or larger stomata would increase the probability that the blade would capture PM2.5. Third, the shrub RGB demonstrated the best performance in terms of pollutant dispersion; its PM2.5 concentration at the respiratory height (RH, 1.5 m) on the pedestrian crossing was 15–20% lower than the other RGB configurations. In terms of pollutant deposition, the arbor + shrub composite RGB was two-fold better than the other RGB configurations. Moreover, it was more advantageous to plant shrub RGBs in street canyons to achieve a balance between the lowest concentration and the largest deposition of PM2.5 pollutants. The findings of this study will facilitate the RGB configurations with good dust retention ability.
Article
Full-text available
This study compiled recent inventory data from 929,823 street trees in 50 cities to determine trends in tree number and density, identify priority investments and create baseline data against which the efficacy of future practices can be evaluated. The number of street trees increased from 5.9 million in 1988 to 9.1 million in 2014, about one for every four residents. Street tree density declined from 65.6 to 46.6 trees per km, nearly a 30% drop. City streets are at 36.3% of full stocking. State-wide, only London planetree (Platanus × hispanica) comprises over 10% of the total, suggesting good state-wide species diversity. However, at the city scale, 39 communities were overly reliant on a single species. The state's street trees remove 567,748 t CO2 (92,253 t se) annually, equivalent to taking 120,000 cars off the road. Their asset value is $2.49 billion ($75.1 million se). The annual value (USD) of all ecosystem services is $1.0 billion ($58.3 million se), or $110.63 per tree ($29.17 per capita). Given an average annual per tree management cost of $19.00, $5.82 in benefit is returned for every $1 spent. Management implications could include establishing an aggressive program to plant the 16 million vacant sites and replace removed trees, while restricting planting of overabundant species. Given the tree population's youth there is likely need to invest in pruning young trees for structure and form, which can reduce subsequent costs for treating defects in mature trees.
Article
Full-text available
This paper represents the first research attempt to estimate the probabilities of Vietnamese patients falling into destitution due to financial burdens occurring during a curative hospital stay. The study models risk against such factors as level of insurance coverage, residency status of patient, and cost of treatment, among others. The results show that very high probabilities of destitution, approximately 70 %, apply to a large group of patients, who are non-residents, poor and ineligible for significant insurance coverage. There is also a probability of 58 % that seriously ill low-income patients who face higher health care costs would quit their treatment. These facts put the Vietnamese government’s ambitious plan of increasing both universal coverage (UC) to 100 % of expenditure and the rate of UC beneficiaries to 100 %, to a serious test. The current study also raises issues of asymmetric information and alternative financing options for the poor, who are most exposed to risk of destitution following market-based health care reforms. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s40064-015-1279-x) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Article
Full-text available
The global extent and distribution of forest trees is central to our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere. We provide the first spatially continuous map of forest tree density at a global scale. This map reveals that the global number of trees is approximately 3.04 trillion, an order of magnitude higher than the previous estimate. Of these trees, approximately 1.39 trillion exist in tropical and subtropical forests, with 0.74 trillion in boreal regions and 0.61 trillion in temperate regions. Biome-level trends in tree density demonstrate the importance of climate and topography in controlling local tree densities at finer scales, as well as the overwhelming effect of humans across most of the world. Based on our projected tree densities, we estimate that over 15 billion trees are cut down each year, and the global number of trees has fallen by approximately 46% since the start of human civilization.
Article
Full-text available
Background: While healthcare costs for rotavirus gastroenteritis requiring hospitalization may be burdensome on households in Malaysia, exploration on the distribution and catastrophic impact of these expenses on households are lacking. Objectives: We assessed the economic burden, levels and distribution of catastrophic healthcare expenditure, the poverty impact on households and inequities related to healthcare payments for acute gastroenteritis requiring hospitalization in Malaysia. Methods: A two-year prospective, hospital-based study was conducted from 2008 to 2010 in an urban (Kuala Lumpur) and rural (Kuala Terengganu) setting in Malaysia. All children under the age of 5 years admitted for acute gastroenteritis were included. Patients were screened for rotavirus and information on healthcare expenditure was obtained. Results: Of the 658 stool samples collected at both centers, 248 (38%) were positive for rotavirus. Direct and indirect costs incurred were significantly higher in Kuala Lumpur compared with Kuala Terengganu (US$222 Vs. US$45; p<0.001). The mean direct and indirect costs for rotavirus gastroenteritis consisted 20% of monthly household income in Kuala Lumpur, as compared with only 5% in Kuala Terengganu. Direct medical costs paid out-of-pocket caused 141 (33%) households in Kuala Lumpur to experience catastrophic expenditure and 11 (3%) households to incur poverty. However in Kuala Terengganu, only one household (0.5%) experienced catastrophic healthcare expenditure and none were impoverished. The lowest income quintile in Kuala Lumpur was more likely to experience catastrophic payments compared to the highest quintile (87% vs 8%). The concentration index for out-of-pocket healthcare payments was closer to zero at Kuala Lumpur (0.03) than at Kuala Terengganu (0.24). Conclusions: While urban households were wealthier, healthcare expenditure due to gastroenteritis had more catastrophic and poverty impact on the urban poor. Universal rotavirus vaccination would reduce both disease burden and health inequities in Malaysia.
Article
Full-text available
Significance Our quantification of energy and material flows for the world’s 27 megacities is a major undertaking, not previously achieved. The sheer magnitude of these flows (e.g., 9% of global electricity, 10% of gasoline; 13% of solid waste) shows the importance of megacities in addressing global environmental challenges. In aggregate the resource flows through megacities are consistent with scaling laws for cities. Statistical relations are established for electricity use, heating/industrial fuels, ground transportation, water consumption, waste generation, and steel production in terms of heating-degree days, urban form, economic activity, and population growth. Analysis at the microscale shows that electricity use is strongly correlated with building floor area, explaining the macroscale correlation between per capita electricity use and urbanized area per capita.
Article
Full-text available
The 2001 National Land Cover Database (NLCD) tree and impervious cover maps provide an opportunity to extract basic land-cover information helpful for natural resource assessments. To determine the potential utility and limitations of the 2001 NLCD data, this exploratory study compared 2001 NLCD-derived values of overall percent tree and impervious cover within geopolitical boundaries with aerial photo interpretation-derived values for the same areas. Results of the comparison reveal that NLCD underestimates tree cover and to a lesser extent, underestimates impervious cover. The underestimate appears to be consistent across the conterminous United States with no statistical differences among regions. However, there were statistical differences in the degree of underestimation of tree cover among mapping zones and of impervious cover by population density class.
Article
Full-text available
Mounting research highlights the contribution of ecosystem services provided by urban forests to quality of life in cities, yet these services are rarely explicitly considered in environmental policy targets. We quantify regulating services provided by urban forests and evaluate their contribution to comply with policy targets of air quality and climate change mitigation in the municipality of Barcelona, Spain. We apply the i-Tree Eco model to quantify in biophysical and monetary terms the ecosystem services "air purification," "global climate regulation," and the ecosystem disservice "air pollution" associated with biogenic emissions. Our results show that the contribution of urban forests regulating services to abate pollution is substantial in absolute terms, yet modest when compared to overall city levels of air pollution and GHG emissions. We conclude that in order to be effective, green infrastructure-based efforts to offset urban pollution at the municipal level have to be coordinated with territorial policies at broader spatial scales.
Article
Full-text available
The role of water security in sustainable development and in the nexus of water, food, energy and climate interactions is examined from the starting point of the definition of water security offered by Grey and Sadoff. Much about the notion of security has to do with the presumption of scarcity in the resources required to meet human needs. The treatment of scarcity in mainstream economics is in turn examined, therefore, in relation to how each of us as individuals reconciles means with ends, a procedure at the core of the idea of sustainable development. According to the Grey-Sadoff definition, attaining water security amounts to achieving basic, single-sector water development as a precursor of more general, self-sustaining, multi-sectoral development. This is consistent with the way in which water is treated as "first among equals", i.e. privileged, in thinking about what is key in achieving security around the nexus of water, food, energy and climate. Cities, of course, are locations where demands for these multiple resource-energy flows are increasingly being generated. The paper discusses two important facets of security, i.e., diversity of access to resources and services (such as sanitation) and resilience in the behavior of coupled human-built-natural systems. Eight quasi-operational principles, by which to gauge nexus security with respect to city buildings and infrastructure, are developed.
Article
Full-text available
Projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggest that there will be an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes in the 21st century. Kolkata, a megacity in India, has been singled out as one of the urban centers vulnerable to climate risks. Modest flooding during monsoons at high tide in the Hooghly River is a recurring hazard in Kolkata. More intense rainfall, riverine flooding, sea level rise, and coastal storm surges in a changing climate can lead to widespread and severe flooding and bring the city to a standstill for several days. Using rainfall data, high and low emissions scenarios, and sea level rise of 27 cm by 2050, this paper assesses the vulnerability of Kolkata to increasingly intense precipitation events for return periods of 30, 50, and 100 years. It makes location-specific inundation depth and duration projections using hydrological, hydraulic, and urban storm models with geographic overlays. High resolution spatial analysis provides a roadmap for designing adaptation schemes to minimize the impacts of climate change. The modeling results show that de-silting of the main sewers would reduce vulnerable population estimates by at least 5 %.
Article
Full-text available
This article examines the quality of primary school inputs in urban settlements with a view to understand how it sheds light on benchmarks of education quality indicators in Kenya. Data from a school survey that involved 83 primary schools collected in 2005 were used. The data set contains information on school quality characteristics of various types of schools in Nairobi. On the basis of the national benchmarks, the quality of education provided in government schools was shown to be “better” with regard to infrastructure, teacher qualifications, and textbook provision than that provided in all the nongovernment-owned schools. However, nongovernment schools have smaller class sizes and lower pupil—teacher ratio (PTR). The bad news is that government schools have large class sizes and higher PTR and hence low levels of teacher—pupil interaction. Nongovernment schools had poor classroom structures and a higher pupil—textbook ratio, particulary private individually owned schools and community-owned schools. It also emerges that although in the government schools, student learning space is constrained by the class size, the student learning space in nongovernment schools is constrained by the classroom size. Meeting quality benchmarks in primary schooling, therefore, remains a challenge among urban populations.
Article
Full-text available
Carbon storage and sequestration by urban trees in the United States was quantified to assess the magnitude and role of urban forests in relation to climate change. Urban tree field data from 28 cities and 6 states were used to determine the average carbon density per unit of tree cover. These data were applied to statewide urban tree cover measurements to determine total urban forest carbon storage and annual sequestration by state and nationally. Urban whole tree carbon storage densities average 7.69 kg C m(-2) of tree cover and sequestration densities average 0.28 kg C m(-2) of tree cover per year. Total tree carbon storage in U.S. urban areas (c. 2005) is estimated at 643 million tonnes ($50.5 billion value; 95% CI = 597 million and 690 million tonnes) and annual sequestration is estimated at 25.6 million tonnes ($2.0 billion value; 95% CI = 23.7 million to 27.4 million tonnes).
Article
Full-text available
Urban drainage infrastructure is generally designed to rapidly export stormwater away from the urban environment to minimize flood risk created by extensive impervious surface cover. This deficit is resolved by importing high-quality potable water for irrigation. However, cities and towns at times face water restrictions in response to drought and water scarcity. This can exacerbate heating and drying, and promote the devel- opment of unfavourable urban climates. The combination of excessive heating driven by urban development, low water availability and future climate change impacts could compromise human health and amenity for urban dwellers. This paper draws on existing literature to demonstrate the potential of Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) to help improve outdoor human thermal comfort in urban areas and support Climate Sensitive Urban Design (CSUD) objectives within the Australian context. WSUD provides a mechanism for retaining water in the urban landscape through stormwater harvesting and reuse while also reducing urban temperatures through enhanced evapotranspiration and surface cooling. Research suggests that WSUD features are broadly capable of lowering temperatures and improving human thermal comfort, and when integrated with vegetation (especially trees) have potential to meet CSUD objectives. However, the degree of benefit (the intensity of cooling and improvements to human thermal comfort) depends on a multitude of factors including local environmental conditions, the design and placement of the systems, and the nature of the surrounding urban landscape. We suggest that WSUD can provide a source of water across Australian urban environments for landscape irrigation and soil moisture replenishment to maximize the urban climatic benefits of existing vegetation and green spaces. WSUD should be implemented strategically into the urban landscape, targeting areas of high heat exposure, with many distributed WSUD features at regular intervals to promote infiltration and evapotranspiration, and maintain tree health.
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to understand and mitigate the health effects of particulate matter (PM) air pollution have a rich and interesting history. This review focuses on six substantial lines of research that have been pursued since 1997 that have helped elucidate our understanding about the effects of PM on human health. There has been substantial progress in the evaluation of PM health effects at different timescales of exposure and in the exploration of the shape of the concentration-response function. There has also been emerging evidence of PM-related cardiovascular health effects and growing knowledge regarding interconnected general pathophysiological pathways that link PM exposure with cardiopulmonary morbidity and mortality. Despite important gaps in scientific knowledge and continued reasons for some skepticism, a comprehensive evaluation of the research findings provides persuasive evidence that exposure to fine particulate air pollution has adverse effects on cardiopulmonary health. Although much of this research has been motivated by environmental public health policy, these results have important scientific, medical, and public health implications that are broader than debates over legally mandated air quality standards.
Article
Full-text available
Results of the 3-year Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project indicate that there are an estimated 50.8 million trees in the Chicago area of Cook and DuPage Counties; 66 percent of these trees rated in good or excellent condition. During 1991, trees in the Chicago area removed an estimated 6,145 tons of air pollutants, providing air cleansing valued at $9.2 million dollars, These trees also sequester approximately 155,000 tons of carbon per year, and provide residential heating and cooling energy savings that, in turn, reduce carbon emissions from power plants by about 12,600 tons annually. Shade, lower summer air temperatures, and a reduction in windspeed associated with increasing tree cover by 10 percent can lower total heating and cooling energy use by 5 to 10 percent annually ($50 to $90 per dwelling unit). The projected net present value of investment in planting and care of 95,000 trees in Chicago is $38 million ($402 per planted tree), indicating that the long-term benefits of trees are more than twice their costs. Policy and program opportunities to strengthen the connection between city residents and city trees are presented.
Article
Full-text available
Greenhouse gas emissions have significantly altered global climate, and will continue to do so in the future. Increases in the frequency, duration, and/or severity of drought and heat stress associated with climate change could fundamentally alter the composition, structure, and biogeography of forests in many regions. Of particular concern are potential increases in tree mortality associated with climate-induced physiological stress and interactions with other climate-mediated processes such as insect outbreaks and wildfire. Despite this risk, existing projections of tree mortality are based on models that lack functionally realistic mortality mechanisms, and there has been no attempt to track observations of climate-driven tree mortality globally. Here we present the first global assessment of recent tree mortality attributed to drought and heat stress. Although episodic mortality occurs in the absence of climate change, studies compiled here suggest that at least some of the world's forested ecosystems already may be responding to climate change and raise concern that forests may become increasingly vulnerable to higher background tree mortality rates and die-off in response to future warming and drought, even in environments that are not normally considered water-limited. This further suggests risks to ecosystem services, including the loss of sequestered forest carbon and associated atmospheric feedbacks. Our review also identifies key information gaps and scientific uncertainties that currently hinder our ability to predict tree mortality in response to climate change and emphasizes the need for a globally coordinated observation system. Overall, our review reveals the potential for amplified tree mortality due to drought and heat in forests worldwide.
Article
Full-text available
Although many studies have linked elevations in tropospheric ozone to adverse health outcomes, the effect of long-term exposure to ozone on air pollution-related mortality remains uncertain. We examined the potential contribution of exposure to ozone to the risk of death from cardiopulmonary causes and specifically to death from respiratory causes. Data from the study cohort of the American Cancer Society Cancer Prevention Study II were correlated with air-pollution data from 96 metropolitan statistical areas in the United States. Data were analyzed from 448,850 subjects, with 118,777 deaths in an 18-year follow-up period. Data on daily maximum ozone concentrations were obtained from April 1 to September 30 for the years 1977 through 2000. Data on concentrations of fine particulate matter (particles that are < or = 2.5 microm in aerodynamic diameter [PM(2.5)]) were obtained for the years 1999 and 2000. Associations between ozone concentrations and the risk of death were evaluated with the use of standard and multilevel Cox regression models. In single-pollutant models, increased concentrations of either PM(2.5) or ozone were significantly associated with an increased risk of death from cardiopulmonary causes. In two-pollutant models, PM(2.5) was associated with the risk of death from cardiovascular causes, whereas ozone was associated with the risk of death from respiratory causes. The estimated relative risk of death from respiratory causes that was associated with an increment in ozone concentration of 10 ppb was 1.040 (95% confidence interval, 1.010 to 1.067). The association of ozone with the risk of death from respiratory causes was insensitive to adjustment for confounders and to the type of statistical model used. In this large study, we were not able to detect an effect of ozone on the risk of death from cardiovascular causes when the concentration of PM(2.5) was taken into account. We did, however, demonstrate a significant increase in the risk of death from respiratory causes in association with an increase in ozone concentration.
Article
Full-text available
Exposure to fine-particulate air pollution has been associated with increased morbidity and mortality, suggesting that sustained reductions in pollution exposure should result in improved life expectancy. This study directly evaluated the changes in life expectancy associated with differential changes in fine particulate air pollution that occurred in the United States during the 1980s and 1990s. We compiled data on life expectancy, socioeconomic status, and demographic characteristics for 211 county units in the 51 U.S. metropolitan areas with matching data on fine-particulate air pollution for the late 1970s and early 1980s and the late 1990s and early 2000s. Regression models were used to estimate the association between reductions in pollution and changes in life expectancy, with adjustment for changes in socioeconomic and demographic variables and in proxy indicators for the prevalence of cigarette smoking. A decrease of 10 microg per cubic meter in the concentration of fine particulate matter was associated with an estimated increase in mean (+/-SE) life expectancy of 0.61+/-0.20 year (P=0.004). The estimated effect of reduced exposure to pollution on life expectancy was not highly sensitive to adjustment for changes in socioeconomic, demographic, or proxy variables for the prevalence of smoking or to the restriction of observations to relatively large counties. Reductions in air pollution accounted for as much as 15% of the overall increase in life expectancy in the study areas. A reduction in exposure to ambient fine-particulate air pollution contributed to significant and measurable improvements in life expectancy in the United States.
Article
Full-text available
Urban shade trees offer significant benefits in reducing building air-conditioning demand and improving urban air quality by reducing smog. The savings associated with these benefits vary by climate region and can be up to $200 per tree. The cost of planting trees and maintaining them can vary from $10 to $500 per tree. Tree-planting programs can be designed to have lower costs so that they offer potential savings to communities that plant trees. Our calculations suggest that urban trees play a major role in sequestering CO2 and thereby delay global warming. We estimate that a tree planted in Los Angeles avoids the combustion of 18 kg of carbon annually, even though it sequesters only 4.5-11 kg (as it would if growing in a forest). In this sense, one shade tree in Los Angeles is equivalent to three to five forest trees. In a recent analysis for Baton Rouge, Sacramento, and Salt Lake City, we estimated that planting an average of four shade trees per house (each with a top view cross section of 50 m2) would lead to an annual reduction in carbon emissions from power plants of 16,000, 41,000, and 9000 t, respectively (the per-tree reduction in carbon emissions is about 10-11 kg per year). These reductions only account for the direct reduction in the net cooling- and heating-energy use of buildings. Once the impact of the community cooling is included, these savings are increased by at least 25%.
Article
Full-text available
As part of the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Burden of Disease Comparative Risk Assessment, the burden of disease attributable to urban ambient air pollution was estimated in terms of deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs). Air pollution is associated with a broad spectrum of acute and chronic health effects, the nature of which may vary with the pollutant constituents. Particulate air pollution is consistently and independently related to the most serious effects, including lung cancer and other cardiopulmonary mortality. The analyses on which this report is based estimate that ambient air pollution, in terms of fine particulate air pollution (PM(2.5)), causes about 3% of mortality from cardiopulmonary disease, about 5% of mortality from cancer of the trachea, bronchus, and lung, and about 1% of mortality from acute respiratory infections in children under 5 yr, worldwide. This amounts to about 0.8 million (1.2%) premature deaths and 6.4 million (0.5%) years of life lost (YLL). This burden occurs predominantly in developing countries; 65% in Asia alone. These estimates consider only the impact of air pollution on mortality (i.e., years of life lost) and not morbidity (i.e., years lived with disability), due to limitations in the epidemiologic database. If air pollution multiplies both incidence and mortality to the same extent (i.e., the same relative risk), then the DALYs for cardiopulmonary disease increase by 20% worldwide.
Article
Full-text available
Efforts to understand and mitigate thehealth effects of particulate matter (PM) air pollutionhave a rich and interesting history. This review focuseson six substantial lines of research that have been pursued since 1997 that have helped elucidate our understanding about the effects of PM on human health. There hasbeen substantial progress in the evaluation of PM health effects at different time-scales of exposure and in the exploration of the shape of the concentration-response function. There has also been emerging evidence of PM-related cardiovascular health effects and growing knowledge regarding interconnected general pathophysiological pathways that link PM exposure with cardiopulmonary morbidiity and mortality. Despite important gaps in scientific knowledge and continued reasons for some skepticism, a comprehensive evaluation of the research findings provides persuasive evidence that exposure to fine particulate air pollution has adverse effects on cardiopulmonaryhealth. Although much of this research has been motivated by environmental public health policy, these results have important scientific, medical, and public health implications that are broader than debates over legally mandated air quality standards.
Article
Trees play an important role in urban areas by improving air quality, mitigating urban heat islands, reducing stormwater runoff and providing biodiversity habitat. Accurate and up-to-date estimation of urban tree canopy cover (UTC) is a basic need for the management of green spaces in cities, providing a metric from which variation can be understood, change monitored and areas prioritised. Random point sampling methods, such as i-Tree canopy, provide a cheap and quick estimation of UTC for a large area. Remote sensing methods using airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and multi-spectral images produce accurate UTC maps, although greater processing time and technical skills are required. In this paper, random point sampling and remote sensing methods are used to estimate UTC in Williamstown, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia. High resolution multi-spectral satellite images fused with LiDAR data with pixel-level accuracy are employed to produce the UTC map. The UTC is also estimated by categorising random points a) automatically using the LiDAR derived UTC map and b) manually using Google Maps and i-Tree canopy software. There was a minimum 1% difference between UTC estimated from the map derived from remotely sensed data and only 1000 random points automatically categorised by that same map, indicating the level of error associated with a random sampling approach. The difference between UTC estimated by remote sensing and manually categorised random point sampling varied in range of 4.5% using a confidence level of 95%. As monitoring of urban forest canopy becomes an increasing priority, the uncertainties associated with different UTC estimates should be considered when tracking change or comparing different areas using different methods.
Article
Land use change in the form of urbanization is a direct driver affecting the provision of ecosystem services from forests. To better understand this driver, we modeled the effects of urbanization on three regulating and provisioning ecosystem services in two disparate watersheds in Florida, USA. The study integrated available geospatial and plot-level forest inventory data to assess future changes in carbon storage, timber volume and water yield during a period of 57 years. A 2003–2060 urbanization and land use change scenario was developed using land cover data and a population distribution model. The Integrated Valuation and Ecosystem Services Tradeoffs model was then used to quantify changes in ecosystem services. Carbon storage was reduced by 16% and 26% in the urbanized 2060 scenario in both the rural Lower Suwannee and urban Pensacola Bay watersheds, respectively. Timber volume was reduced by 11% in the Lower Suwannee and 21% in the Pensacola Bay watershed. Water yield, however, increased in both watersheds by 4%. Specific sub-watersheds that were most susceptible to urbanization were identified and mapped and ecosystem service interactions, or trade-offs and synergies, are discussed. Findings reveal how urbanization drives the spatio-temporal dynamics of ecosystem services and their trade-offs. This study provides policy makers and planners an approach to better develop integrated modeling scenarios as well as designing mapping and monitoring protocols for land use change and ecosystem service assessments.
Article
In September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly will adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs will only succeed when they are owned by every citizen in the world, and when all are empowered to become change agents. TheGoals.org leverages the latest ICT landscape and mobile connectivity and offers free, high quality education via a mobile first platform with content closely tied to the SDGs, focussing on mobilizing youths' local actions as solutions to global challenges. This article presents the project's rationale, background as well as its accomplished work and work in the pipeline.
Article
Overwhelming stormwater volumes, associated with deteriorating water quality and severe flooding in urbanizing cities, have become a great environmental and financial concern globally. Urban forests are capable of reducing the amount of stormwater runoff, in part, by regulating throughfall via canopy rainfall interception; however, the lack of stand-scale studies of urban throughfall hinders realistic estimates of the benefits of urban vegetation for stormwater regulation. Furthermore, urban forest characteristics that may be influencing rainfall interception are difficult to establish as these environments are extremely heterogeneous and managed, to a large extent, by private residents with varying landscape preferences. To quantify the amount of rainfall interception by vegetation in a residential urban forest we measured throughfall in Raleigh, NC, USA between July and November 2010. We analyzed 16 residential yards with varying vegetation structure to evaluate the relative importance of different descriptive measures of vegetation in influencing throughfall in an urban watershed. Throughfall comprised 78.1-88.9% of gross precipitation, indicating 9.1-21.4% rainfall interception. Canopy cover (p < 0.0001) and coniferous trees (p = 0.017) were the most influential vegetation variables explaining throughfall whereas variables such as leaf area index were not found significant in our models. Throughfall and vegetation characteristics varied significantly among yards (p < 0.0001), between front and back yards (p < 0.0001), and between rented and privately-owned yards (p = 0.001), suggesting a potentially significant role in stormwater regulation for urban residents.