Quantifying the Urban Forest
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Mature suburbs tend to have certain characteristics that subject them to decline, which is further exacerbated by the recent phenomenon of exurban sprawl. In an effort to prevent or reverse this decline and attract reinvestment, local governments and communities have decided to take various reactive and proactive measures, including that of revitalization. Of the different aspects of revitalization, one is becoming increasingly important as technology continues to grow in its dominance of the landscape-the balance of the natural and the man-made world. The urban forest acts as an integral solution to this problem as it addresses ecological, economic, and social concerns. Convincing local and regional officials to incorporate the urban forest into a revitalization plan could prove to be more effective if the benefits were not only qualified, but also quantified, particularly in dollar values. Using the example of neighboring mature suburbs Wauwatosa and Brookfield, WI, CITY green for ArcGIS is used to do just that. Given time constraints, only one sample site per suburb is chosen, with certain outside variables controlled, and are analyzed based on tree canopy cover. The results of the analysis do not intend to suggest anything on part of the suburbs as a whole, but aim to provide an example of how savings might be quantified, compared, and, perhaps, even correlated to certain canopy coverage patterns
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