[Urbanstudy] Investing in City Trees Can Help Save Lives and Millions of Dollars in Health Expenditures (NEW REPORT FUNDING TREES FOR HEALTH)

Vinay Baindur yanivbin at gmail.com
Thu Sep 28 11:38:48 CDT 2017


Investing in City Trees Can Help Save Lives and Millions of Dollars in
Health Expenditures
Collaboration between urban planners and conservationists is crucial to
face significant health challenges in a creative and innovative way.

*Washington, D.C.** | **September 28, 2017*

A new report <https://global.nature.org/content/funding-trees-for-health> by
The Nature Conservancy, in collaboration with Analysis Group and Trust for
Public Land, finds that trees and other natural features in cities can help
regulate water quality and quantity, reduce harmful air pollutants, and
boost local economies.  *By creating new incentives for investing in urban
nature, cities can help address health challenges more effectively, helping
save lives, and potentially saving millions of dollars to taxpayers*.

*American cities lose 4 million trees every year* (1.3 percent of the
nation’s total urban tree stock). Yet, new tree planting isn’t keeping pace
with this kind of loss.

Despite scientific research that shows that *city trees can have a
significant impact on public health, reducing cardiac and respiratory
diseases intensified by air pollution, as well as alleviating the
consequences of extreme summer heat and mental stress, the challenge has
been for planners and policy makers to allocate resources effectively to
bring these natural benefits to people*.

*Funding Trees for Health*
<https://global.nature.org/content/funding-trees-for-health> explores how
cities can use innovative finance and policy tools to enable tree planting
for public health given that urban trees are vital for people’s health.

“American cities currently spend less than a third of a percent of overall
municipal budgets to maintain or increase their tree coverage,” said Robert
The Nature Conservancy lead scientist for Cities and a report author.
 “Spending just $8 per person could meet the funding gap and allow cities
to plant and maintain enough city trees to benefit public health,
potentially reducing millions to taxpayers.  City trees cannot be viewed as
a luxury, but an essential component of a healthy, livable community and a
core strategy for improving public health.”

The report <https://global.nature.org/content/funding-trees-for-health> focuses
on the benefits of trees for public health to *provide specific guidance
for planners and policy makers*.   These include linking *funding for trees
and parks to health goals and objectives*, as well as implementing policies
to* incentivize private tree planting*.  Additionally, breaking down
municipal silos would facilitate *collaboration between different
departments*, such as public health and environmental agencies with city
developers and planners.  An example would be allowing for codes to
set *minimum
open space or maximum building lot coverage ratios for new developments*.
Investing time and effort in *educating the public about the tangible
public health benefits* and economic impact of trees would be another key
call to action for cities and towns.

“When you consider the benefits that street trees can provide to society,
there is a strong business case for increasing investment,” said McDonald.
“After analyzing 27 major American cities we found that each one could save
at least $25 million annually in pollution-related lost work and healthcare
costs just by planting more urban trees and maintaining existing tree

According to *Planting Healthy Air*
<https://global.nature.org/content/funding-trees-for-health>, a global
study released in 2016 by The Nature Conservancy, there is scientific
evidence of the benefits of city trees and their cost-effectiveness to
reduce urban heat and pollution.  City populations grow and are projected
to reach 2 of every 3 people on Earth in the coming decades.

To see the full report, an executive summary and additional resources,
please visit nature.org/trees4health

*Analysis Group** is one of the largest private economics consulting firms,
with more than 800 professionals across 13 offices in North America,
Europe, and Asia. Since 1981, we have provided expertise in economics,
health care analytics, finance and strategy to Fortune Global 500
companies,* *top law firms, and government agencies worldwide. Our internal
experts, together with our network of affiliated experts from academia,
industry, and government, offer our clients exceptional breadth and depth
of expertise. To learn more, visit www.analysisgroup.com

*The Trust for Public Land*
*The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people,
ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of
people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and
millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public
Land and share why nature matters to you, visit **www.tpl.org*

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to
conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by
science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's
toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are
tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an
unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make
cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative
approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector,
and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow
@nature_press <https://twitter.com/nature_press> on Twitter.
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