Tree Canopy Coverage for the City of Atlanta: A Methodology Definition, Geography Assessment, and City Comparison
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The City of Atlanta does not have a current inventory for its urban tree canopy coverage, let alone urban vegetation as a whole, within the city limits. it is important, though, to have an inventory of vegetated land cover classes in terms of planning implications. Urban vegetation and tree canopy coverage have beneficial externalities for cities. After studying a literature review of ten articles, four themes of the positive externalities of urban vegetation and tree canopy coverage arose: environmental, hydrologic, urban design, and socioeconomical. The environmental category includes reducing urban heat island effects, energy savings, lowering cities' temperatures, protecting wildlife habitats, and managing air quality. The hydrology category involves stormwater management, managing water quality, flood possibility reduction, and erosion prevention. The urban design category points to improvements in urban aesthetics, walkability, contributing to sense of place, increasing privacy while decreasing noise pollution, and crime reduction. The socioeconomic category includes raising property values, increasing community pride and health, and positively contributing to quality of life.