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Climatic changes -- Effect of human beings on, Urban heat island, Urban climatology, Sustainable development


Municipalities worldwide are increasingly recognizing the importance of urban green spaces to mitigate climate change’s extreme effects and improve residents’ quality of life. Even with extensive earlier research examining the distribution of tree canopy in cities, we know little about human perceptions of urban forestry and related ecosystem services. This study aims to fill this gap by examining the variations in socioeconomic indicators and public perceptions by asking how neighborhood trees and socioeconomic indicators mediate public perceptions of ecosystem services availability. Using Portland, Oregon (USA) as our case study, we assessed socioeconomic indicators, land cover data, and survey responses about public perceptions of neighborhood trees. Based on over 2500 survey responses, the results indicated a significant correlation among tree canopy, resident income, and sense of ownership for urban forestry. We further identified the extent to which the absence of trees amplifies environmental injustices and challenges for engaging communities with landscape management. The results suggested that Portland residents are aware of tree maintenance challenges, and the inclusion of cultural ecosystem services can better address existing environmental injustices. Our assessment of open-ended statements suggested the importance of conducting public outreach to identify specific priorities for a community-based approach to urban forestry.


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