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The only thing constant is change: tree canopy in two cities.

Authors: Dexter Locke*, USDA Forest Service
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Land Use and Land Cover Change, Urban Geography
Keywords: Tree canopy change, urban environments, trees in the city, living things in built places
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


High-resolution, high-accuracy tree canopy maps are now mainstream. They help inform plans and policies and have led several jurisdictions to set tree canopy goals. But tree canopy change maps are rare. Notable counter examples can be found in Tampa, FL; Washington, DC; Christchurch, NZ; Worcester, MA; and coastal Los Angeles, CA. Nevertheless, tracking change and monitoring gains and losses across land uses is needed to ensure goals are attained. Tree canopy change studies can also can help describe patterns of change and may help identify causes of loss. We present tree canopy change data for two cities - Baltimore, MD; Philadelphia, PA - to show how canopy has changed a variety of spatial scales. Using a distributional equity perspective, we identify areas where planting efforts could help reduce the gap between the most and least tree-covered areas.

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