It’s easy to take for granted any trees or green spaces you see when walking through a city. They increase property value, and they help break up the concrete jungle. However, trees in cities have many health benefits:
- They provide shade. Shady areas provide space for people to relax and enjoy being outdoors, and can feel 10 to 15 degrees cooler than standing in direct sunlight.
- They clean the air. According to an article from FastCompany about TNC’s Funding Trees for Health, “Urban trees remove enough particulate matter from the air to create up to $60 million worth of reductions in healthcare needs.”
- They reduce temperature. Some U.S. cities, such as Dallas, Texas, lack enough trees to battle what is known as the “urban heat island effect,” which is an urban or metropolitan area that is significantly warmer than surrounding rural areas due to the removal of trees.
Many people may consider trees in urban areas to be a luxury, but The Nature Conservancy (TNC) recently published Funding Trees for Health (click here to access the PDF), an analysis of financial and political actions which supports the recommendation for cities to consider tree planting for improved public health as part of their infrastructure planning. Their research suggests that trees are essential to improving the health and well-being of people living in cities. TNC urges public health institutions to help finance the planting of trees in urban places.