Urban forestry offers great potential for cooling cities.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin in Madison offers one of the most detailed records of the variation in temperature between cities and the surrounding rural areas, known as the urban heat island effect.
They found that the density of urban development and lack of vegetation had the greatest impact on temperature variation.
It can take decades for trees to reach full maturity, so tree planting can’t be a quick fix. Even so, the appeal of taking local action against warming temperatures is inspiring more collaboration. Urban planners, engineers and urban foresters have started to interact more closely with each other and think in larger systems, she said. (2014) Scientific American reprinted with permission from Climate Wire by Environment and Energy Publishing.