Urban Ecosystem Services Seattle s Urban Forest

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1 Urban Ecosystem Services Seattle s Urban Forest Dr. Kathleen Wolf Dr. Dale Blahna University of Washington, College of the Environment USDA Forest Service, Pacific NW Research Station Laos/Cambodia Study Tour :: Ecosystem Services Seattle :: June 2010

2 Ecosystem Services Classifications Millennium Ecosystem Assessment :: 2005

3 Ecosystem Services :: Landscape Gradient Values: aesthetic, tourism, recreation, spiritual, education, existence

4 City Trees in Seattle Ecosystem Services Outline what is an urban forest? urban ecosystem services environmental economic social on-line resource for social and well-being research City of Seattle urban forest analysis and policy

5 BACKGROUND: Definition of Urban Forests

6 BACKGROUND: Definition of Urban Forests Urban forests include: Street trees Park trees Private trees o Yard trees

7 BACKGROUND: Definition of Urban Forests Urban forests include: Street trees Park trees Private trees o Yard trees Urban forests are: Planned Planted Maintained Not accidents!

8 City Trees in Seattle Ecosystem Services Outline what is an urban forest? urban ecosystem services environmental economic social on-line resource for social and well-being research City of Seattle urban forest analysis and policy

9 BACKGROUND: Environmental Benefits

10 BACKGROUND: Environmental Benefits Water Quality o Urban forests keep pollutants out rivers, lakes and other water bodies Air Quality o Urban forests capture air-borne pollutants, contributors to childhood asthma

11 BACKGROUND: Environmental Benefits Water Quality o Urban forests keep pollutants out rivers, lakes and other water bodies Air Quality o Urban forests capture air-borne pollutants, contributors to childhood asthma Carbon Sequestration o Urban forests capture and store CO 2

12 BACKGROUND: Environmental Benefits Water Quality o Urban forests keep pollutants out rivers, lakes and other water bodies Air Quality o Urban forests capture air-borne pollutants, contributors to childhood asthma Carbon Sequestration o Urban forests capture and store CO 2 Reduced Energy Consumption o Urban forests provide windbreaks in winter to reduce heating and shade in summer to reduce air-conditioning

13 Conserving Energy Image courtesy of the Center for Urban Forest Research

14 BACKGROUND: Urban Forest Ecological Benefits Wildlife Habitat

15 BACKGROUND: Urban Forest Ecological Benefits Wildlife Habitat

16 BACKGROUND: Urban Forest Ecological Benefits Wildlife Habitat

17 Improving Air Quality Image courtesy of the Center for Urban Forest Research

18 Reducing Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Image courtesy of the Center for Urban Forest Research

19 Reducing Stormwater Runoff Image courtesy of the Center for Urban Forest Research

20 Seattle Urban Forest Canopy Tree Planting Objectives Figure 3. Opportunities and challenges presented by different types of trees in Seattle (Dilley, 2010). Fruit tree picture courtesy of City Fruit. tree distribution and type (Dilley, 2010)

21

22 i-tree Suite of Software

23 Environmental Services Seattle s Urban Forest City of Seattle, Office of Sustainability, 2007

24 BACKGROUND: Economic Benefits

25 BACKGROUND: Economic Benefits Increased Consumer Spending o Shoppers are willing to spend more in commercial areas with trees, 9-12%.

26 BACKGROUND: Economic Benefits Increased Consumer Spending o Shoppers are willing to spend more in commercial areas with trees, 9-12%. Higher Home Values o Property values of homes with trees are higher than homes without trees, 3-15%.

27 BACKGROUND: Social Benefits

28 BACKGROUND: Social Benefits Increased Community o Residents spend more time outside and get to know their neighbors when trees are present

29 BACKGROUND: Social Benefits Increased Community o Residents spend more time outside and get to know their neighbors when trees are present Safety o Decrease in car accidents along treed traffic corridors Public Health o Decreased stress o Lower blood pressure o People more likely to walk

30 City Trees in Seattle Ecosystem Services Outline what is an urban forest? urban ecosystem services environmental economic social on-line resource for social and well-being research City of Seattle urban forest analysis and policy

31 Research Reviews first release June 2010

32 Research Reviews sponsors: University of Washington USDA Forest Service, Urban & Community Forestry NGO partners

33 Evidence Based Framework Livable Cities (perception, amenity) Place Attachment & Meaning (emotion, connection) Social Ties & Community Building Crime & Fear Community Economics Reduced Health Risk Physiology & Wellness Active Living Mental Health & Cognitive Function Education & Learning Lifecycle & Equity Safe Street Systems Land Use Benefits

34 City Green Ecosystem Services Human Health & Well Being restorative environments, cognition & mental function stress & anxiety reduction children & learning, ADHD therapy vegetation & crime reduction worker productivity community cohesion community resilience

35 City Trees in Seattle Ecosystem Services Outline what is an urban forest? urban ecosystem services environmental economic social on-line resource for social and well-being research City of Seattle urban forest analysis and policy

36 Metro Seattle Canopy Loss

37 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Canopy Cover

38 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Canopy Cover Current = 23% o (Portland, Mpls = 26%; Chicago = 14%)

39 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Canopy Cover Current = 23% o (Portland, Mpls = 26%; Chicago = 14%) Goal = 30% by 2037 o (Portland = 33%, Mpls = no net loss; Chicago = 28%)

40 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Canopy Cover Current = 23% o (Portland, Mpls = 26%; Chicago = 14%) Goal = 30% by 2037 o (Portland = 33%, Mpls = no net loss; Chicago = 28%) Need ~ 300,000 net new trees to meet goal

41 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Canopy Cover Current = 23% o (Portland, Mpls = 26%; Chicago = 14%) Goal = 30% by 2037 o (Portland = 33%, Mpls = no net loss; Chicago = 28%) Need ~ 300,000 net new trees to meet goal Urban Forest Management Plan provides framework for meeting goal

42 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Land Use

43 SEATTLE S URBAN FOREST: Tree Planting Goals Land Use Type Current Canopy Cover Canopy Goal # Trees Needed Commercial 9.7% 15% 33,000 Developed park 25.5% 25% 0 Downtown 4.7% 12% 8,000 Industrial 4.3% 10% 49,000 Institutional 19.4% 20% 600 Multi-family 17.1% 20% 23,000 Parks natural areas 80.4% 80% 0 Single family 24.7% 33% 193,000 Citywide 23% 30% 306,600

44 Conclusions urban forest canopy provides many ecosystem services i-tree provides ES analysis tools a resource web site shares research about human health and well being the City of Seattle is measuring and managing the urban forest for ecosystem services

45 Why is This Important? in wildness is the preservation of the world... Henry David Thoreau in urban is the preservation of the wild and rural.....

46

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