Ongoing scientific research provides overwhelming evidence to reinforce the numerous benefits and advantages that trees can bring to the urban environment, in terms of both their social and environmental impacts:

  • Water flow and quality:

    Trees and soils improve water quality and reduce the need for costly storm water treatment (the removal of harmful substances washed off roads, parking lots, and rooves during rain and snow events), by intercepting and retaining or slowing the flow of precipitation reaching the ground.

  • Individual wellbeing and public health:

    Urban trees and forests make the environment a more aesthetic, pleasant, and emotionally satisfying place in which to live, work, and spend leisure time. Urban trees also provide numerous health benefits; for example, reducing ultraviolet radiation and its associated health problems, and enabling hospital patients with window views of trees to recover faster.

  • Community wellbeing:

    Urban forests make important contributions to the economic vitality and character of a city, neighbourhood, or subdivision – improving the sense of community optimism.

  • Noise abatement:

    Properly designed plantings of trees and shrubs can significantly reduce noise by 50% or more.

  • Wildlife and biodiversity:

    Urban forests help create and enhance animal and plant habitats and can act as reservoirs for endangered species.

  • Local climate and energy use:

    Trees influence thermal comfort, energy use, and air quality by providing shade, transpiring moisture, removing air pollutants, and reducing wind speeds.

  • Real estate and business:

    Landscaping with trees can increase property values and commercial benefits. One study found that, on average, prices for goods purchased were 11% higher in landscaped areas than in areas with no trees.

restoring the urban environmental cycle infographic