Analysts at the MIT Senseable City Lab have built up another method for measuring how “green” a city is utilizing Google Street View.
The venture, called Treepedia, presents a record of urban communities by measuring their “Green Canopy,” the above-the-ground segment of trees and vegetation you can see as you stroll around.
Furthermore, the maps reflect the data collected by the team and the city’s corresponding Green View Index (GVI), the measurement of the percentage of canopy coverage in a certain area according to human perception. By using Google Street View instead of satellite imagery, the team measured the cities through the eyes of the everyday pedestrian.
The aim of this was to encourage local authorities and communities to take action to protect and promote the green canopy cover by providing quantifiable data about tree coverage.
They also hope to add features to the site down the road that will help citizens tag trees in their area and alert their local authorities about areas in need of greater tree coverage.
According to Treepedia, even though most communities have gone ‘urban’, the benefits of tree-lined streets for city living has never been more important with warming temperatures, increased storm frequency, and continued air and environmental pollution.
The MIT research team worked with the World Economic Forum and its Global Shapers Community initiative to put together Treepedia and they continue to collect information to add cities to their list of indexes available for comparison.
Learn more about tree coverage in your city by usine Treepedia’s maps here.