Title of Presentation

Assessing collaborative tree planting efforts to enhance community health outcomes

Presenter Biography

Second year master of urban and regional planning student and research assistant in the sustaining urban places research lab, interested in air pollution, extreme heat, and community health outcomes.

Institution

PSU

Program/Major

Master's of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP)

Degree

MA

Presentation Type

Poster

Room Location

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 296/8

Start Date

April 2019

End Date

April 2019

Abstract

Climate change and the rapid rate of urbanization bring increasingly severe impacts of extreme heat and degraded air quality to our cities. Minority and low-income populations experience greater exposure to these hazards and consequently suffer higher rates of asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. As both a top-down and bottom-up solution to reducing this exposure, coordinated tree plantings convene community organizations, local government, advocacy groups, and volunteer networks. Planting trees introduces many local benefits like reducing exposure to heat and air pollutants, enhancing social interaction and cohesion, and decreasing cognitive fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. In cities across the U.S., urban canopy coverage correlates negatively with household income and often with concentrations of communities of color as well. Collaborative efforts to intervene on this issue of environmental injustice can help to start conversations, build relationships, and connect communities to resources, while also revealing place-based issues to project partners. Analytical tools help to assess the success and challenges of enhancing urban canopies with community, as has been seen in case studies of local efforts in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

This poster offers two points of consideration for the health of a city: (1) equity in tree canopy coverage, and (2) use of community-centered collaborations to inform tree planting efforts. A synthesis of related research provides evidence to these points and suggests how urban planners and public health officials might aim to reduce health inequities in cities.

Keywords: urban planning, public health, urban canopy, climate change, urbanization

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Apr 3rd, 2:00 PM Apr 3rd, 3:00 PM

Assessing collaborative tree planting efforts to enhance community health outcomes

Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 296/8

Climate change and the rapid rate of urbanization bring increasingly severe impacts of extreme heat and degraded air quality to our cities. Minority and low-income populations experience greater exposure to these hazards and consequently suffer higher rates of asthma, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. As both a top-down and bottom-up solution to reducing this exposure, coordinated tree plantings convene community organizations, local government, advocacy groups, and volunteer networks. Planting trees introduces many local benefits like reducing exposure to heat and air pollutants, enhancing social interaction and cohesion, and decreasing cognitive fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. In cities across the U.S., urban canopy coverage correlates negatively with household income and often with concentrations of communities of color as well. Collaborative efforts to intervene on this issue of environmental injustice can help to start conversations, build relationships, and connect communities to resources, while also revealing place-based issues to project partners. Analytical tools help to assess the success and challenges of enhancing urban canopies with community, as has been seen in case studies of local efforts in Portland, Oregon and Washington, D.C.

This poster offers two points of consideration for the health of a city: (1) equity in tree canopy coverage, and (2) use of community-centered collaborations to inform tree planting efforts. A synthesis of related research provides evidence to these points and suggests how urban planners and public health officials might aim to reduce health inequities in cities.

Keywords: urban planning, public health, urban canopy, climate change, urbanization