Urban Tree Cover
Urban tree cover is essential for the environment, health, social, biodiversity, and economic benefits it provides. The benefits of urban trees are numerous, and they can help cities achieve 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)¹. Urban trees have been shown to slow traffic and help ensure safe, walkable streets, making them a powerful tool in revitalizing districts and neighborhoods². A good tree cover promotes urban biodiversity, protects all those who live around and in them, and enhances urban biodiversity. A diverse tree cover protects overall biodiversity – animals, insects, and natural vegetation – further supporting urban tree health⁴.
Urban trees are also key to fighting urban heat islands, which are areas with higher temperatures than surrounding areas due to human activities. Trees can help cool down cities by blocking shortwave radiation and increasing water evaporation, creating more comfortable microclimates, and mitigating air pollution caused by everyday urban activities. Their absorptive root systems also help avoid floods during severe rains and storm surges⁶.
In addition to the environmental benefits, urban trees also provide economic benefits. They can increase property values, reduce energy costs, and improve air quality, which can lead to reduced healthcare costs¹. Urban trees also provide social benefits, such as improving mental health and well-being, reducing crime rates, and increasing social cohesion¹.