Urban Trees

City Greenery Boosts Public Health




puhhha/Shutterstock.com

Urban trees help reduce obesity and depression, improve productivity, boost educational outcomes and reduce incidences of asthma and heart disease for residents, yet according to The Nature Conservancy, American cities spend less than a third of 1 percent of municipal budgets on tree planting and maintenance. As a result, U.S. cities are losing 4 million trees per year.

Each summer, thousands of unnecessary deaths result from heat waves in urban areas. Studies have shown that trees are a cost-effective solution. Too often, the presence or absence of urban nature and its associated benefits is tied to a neighborhood’s income level, resulting in dramatic health inequities. In some American cities, life expectancies in different neighborhoods located just a few miles apart can differ by as much as a decade. Not all of this health disparity is connected to the tree cover, but researchers are increasingly finding that neighborhoods with fewer trees have worse health outcomes, so inequality in access to urban nature can lead to worse health inequities.


To read the white paper, visit Tinyurl.com/FundingTreesForHealth.


This article appears in the January 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Plumbing Progress

An innovative Australian project recycles discarded ocean plastic into 3-D printer filament, which is then used to make replacement plumbing parts in needy areas of the world.

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »This Month

The Wise Way to Yoga

An Emerging Movement
The wise way to yoga is the result of practicing yoga with awareness of how we use our body as a whole in every pose.

The Great Neighborhoods Campaign

The Great Neighborhoods campaign has momentum, but time is running out to make sure that the Legislature backs a comprehensive and balanced bill. Governor Baker has proposed a modest zoning bill.

The Evolutionary Mystic

The Conscious Flowering of Humanity
Our soul’s number one priority is to embody infinite stillness, unconditional love, fierce compassion and spontaneous joy.

Presidential Profiles Book Review in Cambridge

Join author Herb Pearce from 7 to 8 p.m., June 25, at Porter Square Books, in Cambridge, for a review of his new book.

Natural Supplementation for Warm Weather Allergies

As the weather warms up, many New Englanders begin to suffer from warm weather allergies that bring on bouts of sneezing, congestion, itching, stinging and watery eyes.

Natural Solutions for Stress

The effects of worry can be long term, as stress is related to disease, weakening of the immune system, causing high blood pressure or heart disease, and leading to unhealthy actions like overeating, smoking and alcohol overuse.