Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers worked with the World Economic Forum to launch Treepedia, a new platform using Google Street View that measures the green canopy in cities around the world.
The MIT Senseable City Lab takes the Google Street View data to measure aboveground canopy by creating a Green View Index. The idea is that Treepedia will allow city residents to see where trees are located in their own community and to submit information to help tag, track, and advocate for more trees in their city. Cities can then compare their data to one another and take steps to improve the data.
“As many cities experience warming temperatures, increased storm frequency and continued air pollution, the well-being of our urban trees has never been more important,” says Carlo Ratti, Director of the Senseable City Lab.
Treepedia launches in 10 cities including Boston and Toronto and will continue to expand across the globe. Users can immediately perceive which areas are green and not green in a city, investigate the amount of green coverage at a given point, and compare their city to different cities around the world. In the future, users will also be able to add unique tree information on an open-source street map and engage with city officials in order to request that new trees be planted in certain areas.
MIT’s Senseable City Lab studies the interface between cities, people, and technologies. Treepedia’s team at MIT includes Newsha Ghaeli, Wonyoung So, Xiaojiang Li, and Ian Seiferling. The project was carried out in collaboration with the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities and World Economic Forum’s Global Shaper’s Community.
NewTerrain January 16, 2017.