What is Urban Forest Equity?
In many cities, a map of the urban tree canopy can also function as a map of race and wealth. Low-income neighborhoods of color consistently have less tree canopy than affluent neighborhoods and as a result are hotter. Systemic racism pervades many American institutions and the unbalanced distribution of urban forests is a visible reminder that inequities of the past and present are also ingrained in our built environment.
The benefits of a healthy urban forest should be available to all residents. Far too often the neighborhoods that could most use greenspace and urban trees have the least.