Do you know how many trees grow down your street? Check Treepedia. The new interactive website is presenting data on urban greenery in a visual and accessible way.
Going about our daily lives, we’re often too busy to be aware of the impact urban environments have on us. Many of us wake up, commute to work, spend hours at desks, then head home. How many times a day do we get to pause, look around and enjoy a tree-lined street?
Trees sure deserve more of our attention, as they do so much for us and the urban ecosystem. Trees clean the air and provide us with shade during the summer months. They offer a natural respite from noise pollution and traffic congestion that urban environments expose us to. In general, trees can improve our quality of life and mental wellbeing.
MIT research behind the interactive tool
There can never be enough trees in the city. The research team behind Treepedia wants to highlight this. With their interactive web tool, Treepedia shows the tree density on streets in 23 cities from around the world – from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, from London to Paris.
Treepedia was developed by the Senseable City Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Rather than counting the individual number of trees, the team of researchers used Google Street View to work out a method of gauging human perception of the environment from street level.
The minimalist map shows a city dotted in various shades of brown and green, representing the number of perceived trees. Click on any dot to view actual images of the street in question.
Data for greener cities
According to the director of the Senseable City Lab, Carlo Ratti, residents of the cities mapped could use the tool to compare the greenery of their city to others. They could then take this information and persuade local governments to plant more trees.
While the data could also be used by city planners to identify areas that could benefit from having more trees, Treepedia‘s real potential is in improving our awareness of the urban environments we live in – so let’s wander our city’s streets more consciously and enjoy the beauty of our urban trees.
To explore the data and find out more about tree coverage in the 23 global cities, visit here.