No-one lives in a city because they enjoy being surrounded by hulking concrete monoliths. Thanks to this mapping tool from Portland State University, you can now see exactly how lacking your city in the tree department.

As part of a project funded by the U.S. Forest Service, researchers overlaid information about air pollution, tree coverage, temperature, and some census data like age and income on a map. The result is a color-coded system that lets you see how tree cover is correlated with air pollution and urban heat. Thanks to the inclusion of census data, you can also see how those effects are unfairly concentrated on poorer neighbourhoods.

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14 cities have been mapped this way: all cities of 400,000 — 700,000 people, big enough to have the resources to push for more tree planting, but small enough that the planting could make an actual difference to air quality.

[Trees and Health via Smithsonian]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.