Decision Toolbox for cities to improve air quality, biodiversity, human wellbeing and reduce climate risks by planting more trees in our cities
Background & Objectives
Most of us live in cities, even though cities are not the healthiest places due to poor air quality, noisy surroundings and lack of recreational spaces. Many cities have few green areas and consist of too much ‘concrete jungle’ which makes for a harsh environment for all living things. With the changing climate, the weather is expected to become more extreme. One such effect will be urban heat islands, which will be even more profound, with heatwaves expected to increase 3 to 10-fold by 2080 depending on the climate scenario. A way of tackling all these issues, is to plant more trees within the urban fabric - a well-recognised, and relatively cheap and efficient measure for cities to adapt to future climatic challenges. In view of this, the ambition of 100KTREEs is to make cities a better and healthier place to live by encouraging municipalities to plant more trees and to optimise the impact of tree planting. The team will support citiesby mapping the existing trees and by showing a solid business case for planting new trees, as well as attracting third party sponsorship to make it happen. We need to plant trees now to allow our children to enjoy their shade in 20 years’ time. 100KTREEs will develop a mapping and modelling toolbox to optimise the planting of trees and to monitor the health of the trees, based on Copernicus and in-situ data. By assigning monetary value to the key attributes of a tree, e.g. pollution absorption, cooling effect, noise abatement, flood risk reduction and increased biodiversity, a number of business cases will be developed for our two partner cities, Copenhagen and Sofia. Such business cases will also be used to attract third party financing. By means of a crowd science app we will engage with citizens and create awareness of the wonders of trees, also extending to improved life quality and mental health impacts.