2021 Lindsay Darling, The Morton Arboretum, Co-PIs Dr. Brady Hardiman, Dr. Zhao Ma, Lydia Scott
Trees are vital to the health and wellbeing of urban residents; they reduce asthma rates and improve cardiovascular health, and being around trees reduces stress and anxiety. The benefits that trees provide are particularly needed in under-resourced communities, but across the country these communities tend to have fewer trees. City planners are starting to understand this trend and are attempting to address it through targeted tree plantings, but their goals often aren’t realized because they fail to engage with the communities that they’re working in. This project seeks to identify and overcome barriers in equitable greening by quantifying how opinions about trees and greening vary across socio-demographic groups. We will also interview greening organizations to recognize challenges that they’ve encountered in equity-based tree planting projects and strategies that they’ve used to overcome them. Increased tree plantings will have tangible improvements on the well-being of urban residents, and to illustrate this we will model how canopy expansions could reduce premature death in Chicago. This research will be done in partnership with greening organizations, and the results will be discussed at a seminar that will guide future tree planting initiatives.
Funding Duration: 1.5 years
Grant Program: Bob Skiera Memorial Building Bridges Initiative Grant
Grant Title: Identifying social barriers to equitable tree planting and quantifying potential benefits to overcoming them
Researcher: Lindsay Darling
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General Audience/Trade Publications:
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