Saturday, July 17, 2010

Ode to Trees

Nothing like sitting under the shaded canopy of a gigantic tree on these hot summer days! A perfect little shelter, just for you. And then you look up and see all those wonderful lines and patterns impossible to recreate with any sort of artifice. My love of trees goes way back, when I was taught to hug, and kiss, trees early in life at summer camp. And it's true, they do hug back.

But anyways, what's this post about?!

A recent City of Toronto study evaluated the tree canopy in the city to be $7Bn. Hold up, how is that? Seems like a number of intangible sources of value in trees. The $7Bn amounts to the replacement value - what it would cost to re-plant (and apparently age, by calculating some NPV - also sounds a bit sketch) all the trees in the city. While it's a pretty decent figure, I think it could be much higher considering:
  • The obvious carbon capturing
  • The shade / insulation it provides for homes, reducing energy costs
  • Positive impact on productivity (people's brains are shown to work better / more creatively even from brief exposure to green space)
  • Positive impact on health (more time outside in green space, less stress, less heart-attacks)
  • Preservation of biodiversity
  • Property value bump
  • Others?
Still, think it's a move in the right direction, emphasizing the importance of our city's canopy in a way everyone can relate to.

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