It is a generally accepted fact that trees, and vegetation in general, provide many benefits to human beings. What has not been so extensively studied is how those benefits may be distributed across the United States. This research project aims to study that distribution by modeling and analyzing the land use data of US cities and the socio-demographic data available. We are looking specifically at tree cover as presented in the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) in order to determine what the general demographics are of those people that live in closer proximity to trees. We are also looking at percentage of development (or urban areas), water, and agricultural or wetlands. Our original expectation was that there is a correlation between the demographics and population of trees; specifically, those persons living in communities with a lower median income and majority nonwhite population are more likely to live in areas with less tree cover than those more socioeconomically well-off. Our research found that in most of the ecoregions studies, as well as in the amalgamation of all of the cities, there is a tendency toward more tree cover or greenspace in higher income and majority white communities, while there is less greenspace in lower income and majority nonwhite communities. These results are in accordance with those of other studies concerning urban tree cover, and with these results, urban planning committees could be better able to provide equitable tree cover to those more vulnerable and underserved communities.
Cendrowski, Katherine V., "Analyzing Disparities in Ecosystem Services in U.S. Cities: The Relationship Between Tree Cover and Socio-Demographics" (2019). REU Final Reports. 11.
Cendrowski - Exercise Presentation.pdf (2302 kB)
Cendrowski - Annotated Bibliography Presentation.pdf (729 kB)
Annotated Bibliography Presentation
Cendrowski - Final Presentation.pdf (4315 kB)