5 Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas

Trees do more than just add to the scenery of an area. Find out how planting trees in urban areas benefits people, plants and the planet.

1. Reduce Pollution:
Cities often have bad air quality due to smoke stacks, car emissions and other pollutants but planting trees can help reduce the amount of pollution. They do this by absorbing pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and ozone as well as dust, pollen and smoke in the atmosphere. Trees also take in Carbon Dioxide and release Oxygen into the air, making it easier to breathe and preventing lung problems.

2. Lowers temperature:
Urban areas can get up to 5.4 degrees hotter than rural areas during the day and 22
degrees hotter at night which can cause health issues like respiratory problems, heat stroke or worse. However, trees can help to naturally reduce temperatures which in turn makes a healthier living environment not only for humans but also for other plants and wildlife. In addition, lowering the temperature leads to a decrease in use of AC units which can significantly cut down energy usage (and utility bills) in a city.

3. Reduce Noise:
Because cities are made up of hard surfaces, including buildings and pavement, noises are refracted and tend to create a stressful environment for city-goers. Planting trees in urban areas can help reduce the bustling city noises, therefore creating a more peaceful living place for everyone. Planting trees next to a freeway has also been proven to be significantly more effective than building fences around these areas.

4. Psychological Benefits:
Many studies have been done to prove how trees in cities can benefit everyone both
physically and psychologically. For example, trees have been proven to reduce stress
which can in turn lower heart rates and blood pressure. One study found that areas of a
city with trees had less domestic violence, less crime, and a stronger relationship
amongst neighbors. When streets feel safer and look greener, people are more likely to
walk or bike to places which can also decrease traffic and car accidents.

5. Prevents Flooding:
Trees help to absorb water through their roots and catch rain on their canopies
during flooding which is especially beneficial in urban areas which are mostly made up of non-porous materials like concrete. Trees also prevent soil erosion and can slow down the movement of water during a storm. In addition, trees provide natural filtration for water and can remove pollutants.

Looking for more ways to help the environment? Check out How to Live a Plant Based Lifestyle.