Residents, Canopy Cover and Tree Density

Urban forests provide vital services to communities and are crucial for our mental, physical and emotional well-being. Recent research has shown that many variables at a neighbourhood-level are linked to variations in urban forest quantity, however, relationships at the property-level have been rarely considered. The purpose of this study was to examine relationships at property-level in our four socioeconomically varied neighbourhoods. Percent canopy cover (PCC) and tree density were calculated using information from the survey, existing GIS datasets and remotes sensing. Regression was used to determine which property-level characteristics are related to variations in the two tree cover variables.

The overall results demonstrate that residents of single-family properties are actively managing the local urban forest. Space constraints play an important role in determining the variations in the tree measures as did residents’ attitudes and actions. Contrary to many previous studies examining relationship between socioeconomic variables and urban forest quantities, education and income levels were not significantly linked with either of the tree cover measures used in the study. Depending on the measure of the urban forest being used (percent canopy cover or tree density), the strength and direction of the relationship with household-level characteristics often varied. Therefore, it may be beneficial to use different measures of urban forest to understand the how different aspects of urban forest structure (e.g. age and number of trees) are affected by various human-driven factors.


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