Urban tree canopy is defined as layers of leaves, branches and trunks that bring many health and environmental benefits to residents. Tree cover has been associated with many benefits such as reducing ambient temperatures, removing carbon dioxide from the air, reducing rainfall runoff, absorbing pollutants, and providing social and mental health benefits.
The USDA’s Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Assessment protocols were used to analyze canopy of urban plant in Philadelphia. These protocols were developed in 2006 for a study on this problem in Baltimore, Maryland. These protocols involve assessing land cover and canopy of treed developed through data derived from aerial imagery, LiDAR, and other GIS datasets. The findings and a summary of the GIS analysis used have been presented in a report on the state of Philadelphia’s canopy of urban tree.
By extracting data from LiDAR and aerial imagery, analysts were able to create high resolution land cover and tree canopy GIS datasets. The report: “From a Church Street shade plant in Franklin Square to a core forest patch in Pennypack park, every plant in the city was accounted for.”
The study found that between 2008 and 2018, the city lost 6% of its canopy of plant, a total of 1,095 acres. That’s equivalent to 1,000 football fields. Reasons for the canopy loss range from backyard clearings to plant removal due to construction.
The geospatial data extracted during the study was also use to identify vegetated areas that could potentially be planted in order to increase the canopy of tree.
The University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab used spatial analysis to map out how canopy of plant in Philadelphia city changed between 2008 to 2018.
Editor: AnhNTL – VidaGIS Company