Mapping Urban Ecosystems: Street Trees in Downtown Worcester, MA

Authors: Kelly Janus*, Clark University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Planning Geography, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: Urban Ecosystems, Green Urban Ecosystems, Urban Forests, Street Trees, Worcester, i-Tree
Session Type: Guided Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Roosevelt 3.5, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Street trees benefit the economic, physical, and mental wellbeing of residents living and working in urban neighborhoods. This study catalogued the presence, location, size, species, and health of current urban street trees surrounding the financial and cultural Downtown Neighborhood of Worcester, MA. Data collection and analysis was requested by and done on behalf of the Worcester Tree Initiative (WTI), a non-governmental organization which advocates for street trees in Worcester. Results showed clustering of street trees in regions surrounding Mechanic’s Hall, the DCU Center, and Saint Vincent’s Hospital. Clustering of tree pits existed by the Palladium, Saint Vincent’s Hospital, the former Worcester Market Building, and the Worcester Police Department. The average street tree was relatively small with an average trunk diameter of 6.2 inches; however, 78% of street trees were found to be healthy and in good condition. The estimated fiscal value provided by street trees in the Downtown Neighborhood totaled to approximately $4607.66 per year, as of 2018. This figure is dependent upon the quantity, health, species, and size of street trees and will increase as the trees grow, provided that they remain healthy. Future street tree planting recommendations were given to WTI for the street tree ecosystem in the Downtown Neighborhood of Worcester.

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