Best Practices for Equitable Distribution of Urban Tree Canopy Cover

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Resh, Viane
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University of Guelph

Urban forests play a significant role in fostering resilient and healthy cities given the ecological, social, and economic benefits provided to communities. However, not all community members can enjoy these benefits due to uneven distributions of tree canopy cover. Municipalities’ urban forest strategies outline symbolic efforts towards inequality, though they do not directly suggest how to address the issue. This research establishes best practices for equitable tree distribution for municipalities that was developed through a literature review, and a spatial and comparative analysis. A first draft of the best practices was reviewed by key informants to develop a finalized best practices guideline. By using best practice recommendations, municipalities can gain insight on the importance of prioritizing equal access to urban forests to support city livability and equitability.

Tree Equity, Urban Forest, Best Practices, Environmental Justice