Most people in urban areas rarely notice the greenery that is around them. Now there is a new interactive website which tells us exactly how many trees are in our environment with the aim of getting people to encourage local authorities to plant more. It’s called ‘Treepedia’ and it presents data on urban greenery in a visual way that is easy to understand. Rather than just stating the number of trees, the project used Google Street View to give users a visual perception of the amount of greenery in any area. The map shows a city dotted in various shades of brown and green, representing the number of trees that are ‘perceived’ in each location.
Treepedia was developed by the Sensible City Lab of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (US). Director of the project Carlo Ratti says residents of the mapped cities can use the tool to compare the greenery of their city to others. They can then use this information to persuade their local government to plant more trees. The goal is an improvement in both the quality of life and mental wellbeing. Trees create a more healthy environment by cleaning the air and offering a natural respite from noise pollution. In addition, numerous studies have shown that living in an area with more green space lowers our levels of stress. So far the tree density has been mapped in 23 cities from around the world, including Amsterdam, Frankfurt, London and Paris… and more are coming soon.