Cities around the globe are home to about 50 percent of the world’s population, but cities generate 80 percent of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, not to mention other forms of pollution. Cities are consuming a disproportionate share of natural resources, as well. Fortunately, many sustainable cities are taking steps to minimize their impacts on the environment and to minimize the threats that natural disasters pose to them. Our urban forests are a vital part of the equation. Saving and planting as many trees as possible offers multiple benefits, including:
- Minimize energy consumption by strategically placing more trees near residential and commercial properties to help us minimize energy use;
- Maximize tree placements along roadways, railways, and other open spaces to help offset carbon dioxide gases, while minimizing the heat-island effect in many urban areas;
- Promote urban agroforestry initiatives;
- Generate more oxygen, while minimizing air pollution;
- Create and preserve urban habitat for wildlife; and
- Use tree-planting events to help educate communities about carbon neutrality and energy management.