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The Importance of Trees in Cities

Why we need more trees in our urban environments.

Trees Protect Biodiversity

Even trees that grow in the middle of the CBD provide much needed habitat for birds, insects and other small invertebrates that live in urban areas.
According to research, cities are visited by one fifth of the world’s birds and are ‘bio-indicators’ for other wildlife that may live in cities.

Trees Make Us Healthier

Who doesn’t feel inspired to go for a walk in a beautiful green space?
Trees found in parks and gardens in and around cities, encourage people to visit them, to go for a walk or for a run, or even to meet friends and socialise. Parks and gardens in cities are associated with healthier people, lower obesity rates and a lowered risk of cardiovascular disease.

Trees Increase the Value of Properties

Studies show that homes with trees are more valuable than homes without trees and therefore add value to a property. Similarly, studies have shown that properties that are close to public parks and gardens fetch higher prices. Forests near a residential area can provide recreational value, while trees on a property can be seen to be valuable for shade and privacy reasons.

They Help Manage Storm Water

Trees are excellent at reducing run-off and mitigating the need for stormwater management. If well placed, with adequate amounts of soil that allow them to reach their full size, trees are incredibly successful at absorbing stormwater and preventing it from seeping into waterways. This reduces treatment costs and the need for additional facilities.

Trees Reduce Stress

Studies have shown that spending time in nature or even working with a view out over trees, reduces stress and anxiety levels by making a person feel calm. Nature is often cited as enhancing positive mood.

They Clean the Air

Trees are excellent air filters and are said to filter up to one-third of pollutants within a few hundred metres of a tree. They filter air through their leaves, breaking up particle matter and removing it from the air we breathe.

Trees Keep Us Cool

Trees cool streets by 2–4 degrees, providing shade which can save lives in hot climates. They also shade heat absorbent surfaces that radiate heat and contribute to increased temperatures. Trees cool by process of evaporation, cooling the air which travels into other neighbourhoods.

Need some inspiration of how to connect with nature in an urban environment? Read our recent article on 10 Ways to Connect with Nature in an Urban Environment

Sources:
Urban Nature
Urban Green Spaces and Health Review
Science Alert