Dec 18, 2022

Global cities: Crown Volume of Urban Trees, Public Health, & Low Income Housing

Forest & Cedar Park, Bellingham WA

As is often the case, the healthiest approach also makes economic sense.

Quoting Dr. Nadina Galle, "...a street with fewer trees but larger crowns is better for your health. Ecologically, it adds up. Health and well-being-wise, it checks out. But the economics make sense too." In her blog post "Smart New Ways to Protect Wise Old Trees" Dr. Galle explains a few important points in urban forest caretaking during these anxious times. She outlines exciting developments in counting, measuring, mapping trees and how LIDAR sensors even help quantify crown volume.

Meanwhile, on the same day, I noticed Treehugger's great article on the importance of greenery in people's everyday lives.  While this topic has been in the general press lately, I am not sure that governing bodies and citizenry will take it to heart. Biophilia, restoration, and similar nature topics warrant a whole lot of attention from schools, community leaders, property owners and corporations. Those actions which slow climate destruction also benefit people's health and well-being.

I receive a Google alerts on the topic "Low Income Housing Tax Credit" (LIHTC). This is a category of housing which many people have benefited from in my region. I like to observe the trends and learn a bit about what may be on the horizon. There have been many articles in the general press about this topic too. The thriving LIHTC construction industry this year seems to be accelerating. The program is attractive to both developers and governments. One article for example that was cited is:  "Bid in Congress to expand low-income housing tax credit gains support"

Many old trees are removed in favor of big construction projects. Recent housing designs tend to be block buildings without greenery or lush public parks nearby. It would be wise to follow in the steps of cities and other groups who are developing sites that are simultaneously lucrative for investors, healthful for residents of all ages, and mindful of the irreplaceable value to all of us of the natural world.