The health and wellbeing of people living in cities are greatly improved where natural green spaces are present in their neighbourhood. With tangible benefits such as an improvement in air quality combined with aesthetic values of being in urban green spaces, urban trees and other green infrastructure are becoming a priority for city authorities and citizens alike.
Urban trees are excellent filters for urban pollutants and fine particulates! Trees remove gaseous air pollution by uptake via leaf surface and also by intercepting airbone particles, acting as efficient filters
A tree can absorb up to 150 kg of CO2 per year! (FAO, 2018).
Cities demonstrate higher mean average temperatures than surrounding rural areas, the so-called “urban heat island” effect. Climate change projections indicate a rise in temperatures and an increase in the occurrence and intensity of extreme heat events, increasing the urban heat island effect. Trees mitigate these effects by providing shading.
Strategic placement of trees in urban areas can cool the air by between 2ºC and 8ºC! (FAO, 2018).
Trees and urban greening play a key role in the human wellbeing. As an example, urban residents suffering from stress experience less anxiety when they have a view of trees. Trees reduce as well the symptoms of asthma by intercepting harmful particulates.
In the USA, trees help reduce or prevent more than 670 000 cases of severe respiratory diseases per year (Nowak, 2014).
There is a recent revival of interest in the importance of green space to support healthy living in urban areas.
Municipalities compete against each other when it comes to workplaces and attractive places of residence. The multiple positive impacts of trees results in them becoming very desirable assets in the cities!
A growing environmental awareness of society, makes the presence of green areas an important aspect for people to consider when choosing a dwelling location.
Companies and buyers in the Real Estate market usually make decisions about suitable location according not only to hard location factors (transport links, proximity to sales market) but also soft factors. These soft factors involve environmental quality, valuable recreation areas, and an attractive environment for living and working, including also a higher availability of urban green areas!