Mappy Monday: How Urban Trees Can Save Lives

How Urban Trees Can Save Lives

We’ve recently been enthralled by ESRI Story maps! They are an engaging and fun way to learn about various map-related subjects. Esri Story Maps let you combine authoritative maps with narrative text, images, and multimedia content, making it easy to harness the power of maps and geography to tell a story. This week we are featuring a tree story map from the Nature Conservancy: Planting Healthy Air. Scroll through the story map below and explore the maps that craft this narrative.

Planting Healthy Air

Heatwaves are one of the world’s most underestimated threats, killing more than 12,000 people every year around the world—more than any other weather-related event. And heat is especially dangerous in cities, which tend to be much warmer than surrounding less-developed areas. On top of that, cities tend to have higher levels of air pollution, which contribute to more than 3 million deaths every year. With 70 percent of the world’s population predicted to live in cities by 2050, heat and air pollution constitute a major public health concern.

One relatively simple solution to this problem? Plant more trees in cities. Trees cool the air by casting shade and releasing water vapor, and their leaves can filter out fine particulate matter (PM)—one of the most dangerous forms of air pollution, generated from burning biomass and fossil fuels. The Nature Conservancy has studied the effects of trees on air quality in 245 of the world’s largest cities and documented the findings in the Planting Healthy Air report.


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2 thoughts on “Mappy Monday: How Urban Trees Can Save Lives”

  1. Jon Warner says:

    I love seeing this report and am glad to see investments in understanding this global issue while gathering the data to support the push for planting more trees. It’s very compelling and convincing. I really notice when there is lack of shade is cities. It’s almost unbearable in the summer.

  2. Definitely! Tree plantings in low canopy areas are so important!

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