Impact of municipal policies on trees in Los Angeles County

Authors: SU JIN LEE*, University of Southern California, Kevin Mercy, University of Southern California, Monica Finnstrom , University of Southern California, Lauren Mullarkey-Williams, University of Southern California
Topics: Human-Environment Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: Tree, municipal policy, tree ordinance
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/11/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Nature’s services provided by green cover are important to environmental conditions in cities and their ability to adapt to climate change. Researchers using geospatial technologies have dramatically increased the spatial and temporal resolution of knowledge about the distribution of tree and shrub cover in cities. Much of the current research on tree cover in cities has concentrated on individual preferences and associations between socioeconomic characteristics and environmental conditions. To complement existing research and provide planners with the practical tools they need to maintain the benefits of urban nature, this study focuses on the public policy factors that influence tree and other green covers at the lot and neighborhood scales, concentrating on single-family neighborhoods. Trees are classified using an object-oriented method with high spatial-resolution aerial imagery and GIS techniques. Landscape and property information were extracted from Los Angeles County Assessor Office files at a parcel scale for 30 cities in Los Angeles County. The extracted variables included lot size, floor-area ratio, residential landscape standards, tree protection ordinances, and street tree programs and were used along with socio-demographic parameters in multiple regression models to explain the distribution and character of tree cover across different neighborhoods.

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