The New Online MIT Map Tells You How Green Your City Is

Researchers at the MIT Senseable City Lab have developed a new way to measure how a "green" city uses Google Street View. The project, called Treepedia, presents an index of cities by measuring their "Green Canopy", the overhanging portion of trees and vegetation that you can see as you walk.

The maps reflect the data collected by the team and the city's Green Vision Index (GVI), measuring the percentage coverage in a certain area based on human perception. Using Google Street View instead of satellite imagery, the team measured the cities through everyday eyes.

The MIT research team has worked with the World Economic Forum and its Global Shapers community initiative to bring Treepedia together and continue to gather information to add cities to their index list available for comparison.

By providing quantifiable data on tree cover, Treepedia hopes that cities and their citizens will take the lead in defending more trees in their communities. They also hope to add functionality to the site on the road that will help citizens tag the trees in their area and alert their local authorities to areas in need of greater forest cover.

(Image Courtesy MIT Senseable City Lab)

Although tree planting may seem incoherent in the large urban development project, Treepedia reiterates the benefits of tree-lined streets for urban living. "In many cities, warming temperatures, increased storm frequency and continuous air pollution, the well-being of our urban trees has never been more important," said Carlo Ratti, Senseable City Lab, in a press release. "Here we present an index to compare cities against each other, encouraging local authorities and communities to take steps to protect and promote green cover of the canopy."

You can play with Treepedia maps and learn more about tree cover in your city by visiting their website here
News via Archpaper