Every year, between 3 and 4 million people around the world die as a result of air pollution and its lifelong impacts on human health, from asthma to cardiac disease to strokes. Each summer, thousands of unnecessary deaths result from heat waves in urban areas. Studies have shown that trees are a cost-effective solution for both of these challenges.
Yet investment in planting new trees—or even caring for those that exist—is perpetually underfunded. Despite the overwhelming evidence cities are, on average, spending less on trees than in prior decades.
And too often, the presence or absence of urban nature—and its myriad 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 makes worse health inequities.
The white paper estimated that spending just US$8 per person per year, on average, in an American city could meet the funding gap and stop the loss of urban trees and all their potential benefits.
The key is to connect public health outcomes to urban trees. Communication and coordination between a city’s parks, forestry and public health departments is rare. Breaking down these silos can reveal new sources of funding for tree planting and maintenance.
The 2020s are predicted to be a decade of transformation for urban mobility. There are at least six forces that are expected to disrupt the urban mobility landscape. From self-driving vehicles and the sharing economy, through to vehicle electrification, mobile computing, the...Read more
Transportation planners are often looking for efficiency in transportation but this article in Science Advances has also identified that resilience is an important city design feature. Planning for when disruptions occur can help to avoid city gridlock.Read more
Industry misconceptions around high cost and poor market interest in energy efficient homes continue to obstruct the mass adoption of low carbon housing. Josh’s House demonstrates that low carbon housing is accessible and cost effective. The Star Performers series showcases how...Read more
Cities and states are always looking for ways to more efficiently and effectively deliver public services, such as flood management, resource conservation, pollution prevention, social equity and human health.
Trees and green spaces are essential for urban sustainability and liveability, but so is planting the right things in the right places...
Read the full article on the University of Melbourne's Pursuit site.
Over the past decade research on urban thermal inequity has grown, with a focus on denser built environments. In this letter we examine thermal inequity associated with climate change impacts and changes to urban form in a comparatively socio-economically disadvantaged Australian suburb.