New York City Mapped All of its Trees and Calculated the Economic Benefits of Every Single One

New York City Mapped All of its Trees and Calculated the Economic Benefits of Every Single One

Public spaces, squares, and parks in New York City are administered by the city’s Department of Parks & Recreation (NYC Parks).

In recent years, the agency has been responsible for creating new programs to help children, youth and adults be aware of the importance of caring for their urban landscape.

One of these programs is a TreesCount! which in 2015 gathered 2,300 volunteers to learn about the trees in their environment, what state they are in, what care they need, what their measurements are, and how they benefit the surrounding community, etc.

For months, they walked the streets of the five boroughs together with a group of monitors who previously trained them to recognize what trees they were studying and their characteristics. 

Now the information gathered on these walks, which gave rise to an urban forest registry, is available on the New York City Tree Map. With it, you can view statistics on each of the 685,781 registered trees, a calendar of activities related to tree care, the total number of species and find out which is the most common tree in your neighborhood.

via NYC Parks

In terms of data for each tree, no detail was left out, since each one was assigned a unique ID number, as well a color indicating its species. In addition, it has its exact location accompanied by its corresponding image in Google Street View, the possibility of reporting any possible issues that may arise and a summary of the ecological benefits for each tree translated into an economic value. 

This means that when choosing a tree on the map you can see the amount of rainwater it retains each year (expressed in gallons) and the money each individual specimen saves each year. The amount of electricity conserved is also estimated, calculated in kilowatts per hour (kWh), as well as the reduction of air pollution. 

All these are formulated according to figures from U.S. Forest Service that estimate the total ecological benefits a tree gives in dollars. In the case of the tree in the image below, this one has a benefit for its population that amounts to slightly more than $500 USD each year. 

via NYC Parks

If you want to check the map out for yourself click here.

About this author
Cite: Gaete, Constanza Martínez. "New York City Mapped All of its Trees and Calculated the Economic Benefits of Every Single One" [Nueva York mapea todos sus árboles y calcula el beneficio económico de cada uno] 28 Nov 2016. ArchDaily. (Trans. Valletta, Matthew) Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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