Urban greening and sustainability initiatives need to include urban tree canopy (UTC) goals to ensure communities have access to healthy urban forests. A new report from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) examines methods for UTC assessment and provides guidelines for practitioners to apply to planning, management and decision making.
The report breaks down 5 key steps for urban tree canopy projects:
- Plan – set clear goals and strategies
- Assess –obtain current UTC data
- Analyze – use the data to identify where to conserve, plant and manage forests to meet UTC goals
- Implement – acquire funding, develop policies and guidelines, and put the projects in the ground
- Monitor and Evaluate – ensure health of canopy and assess the project in relation to the goals set
The report also shares several tools, data sets, and case studies.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan, UTC data and public health data were assessed together to help target key areas for tree planting that would enhance physical and mental health. The City of Portland, Oregon is using UTC data to help explore the integration of trees and other green infrastructure into their asset management plans.
To get inspired by other green infrastructure projects and to learn more about urban tree canopy assessments, you can read the full article here.