Trees cover an estimated 20.9 million acres of urban land in the continental United States. That’s 3,659 square feet of urban forest per city dweller—about the size of a not-so-modest four-bedroom house.
But like housing, trees are not equally distributed across American cities. Studies have shown that there is a higher demand for trees in wealthy neighborhoods. Conversely, areas with a higher proportion of African Americans, low-income residents, and renters enjoy less tree cover.
The unequal allocation of city greenery means that many low-income and non-white urbanites are missing out on the benefits of having trees on their city blocks, which, it turns out, are significant.
If your street is peppered with Magnolias and American Sweet Gums, your neighborhood will look better, sound better, and be less windy. Trees in urban spaces suppress noise, beautify monochromatic pavement, and reduce wind speeds.(2015) September/October by Catherine Schuknecht on Sierra, by the Sierra Club.