Cape Town, Durban and Joburg on Treepedia

As cities around the world implement green canopy strategies, Treepedia have developed a metric to evaluate and compare canopy cover. The World Economic Forum recently added Cape Town, Durban and Joburg as its first African cities.

Treepedia, developed by the MIT Senseable City Lab, measures the canopy cover in cities. It's not just about counting trees, but rather to develop a scaleable, universally applicable method of analyzing the amount of green perceived while walking down the street.

What's important about this? Well, increasing a city’s tree canopy contributes to lowering urban temperatures by blocking shortwave radiation and increasing water evaporation. Creating more comfortable microclimates, trees also mitigate air pollution caused by everyday urban activities. Their absorptive root systems also help avoid floods during severe rains and storm surges. So overall, trees are pretty awesome.

Cities around the world are recognizing this and many are developing strategies to increase green canopy cover. In fact, in 2015, the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Agenda Council (GAC) on the Future of Cities included increasing green canopy cover on their list of top ten urban initiatives.

As cities around the world race to implement green canopy strategies, Treepedia use the Green View Index to evaluate and compare canopy cover and to increase awareness of the benefits in greening cities around the globe. The Green View Index was calculated using Google Street View panoramas. This method considers the obstruction of tree canopies and classifies the images accordingly.

 

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