Cities must consider trees as public health infrastructure

Cities must consider trees as public health infrastructureImportance of trees in cities. Image: Leonard from Shutterstock

Planting trees is a way to improve people’s health, an easy and very cheap way. Trees, in addition to beautifying a city, provide fresh, clean air. This is why they must be considered as a public health infrastructure.

Everyone should be able to breathe clean air. This should also be possible in large cities. Trees not only decorate the streets, but also contribute to the physical and mental health of its inhabitants.

The organization Nature conservation questions why is this not included in public health funding?

This organization has produced a document that explains with figures, the reasons why this should be done.

To prepare this document the United States was taken as a guide. Because in this country, less than a third of 1% of the budget is spent on maintaining and planting trees. As a result, cities across North America lose four million trees a year.

East it is an official document that details the problem, its causes, concepts and solutions to combat it.

It is estimated that with an average of 8 dollars per person per year, the loss of trees could be avoided.

It would also be possible to increase the use of the profits they generate. The number does not suggest value, but it is a sign that the investment is possible.

Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. Image: Iktochi Shutterstock

Investment has declined.

In this regard, the report indicates that currently, cities are spending less to maintain or plant new trees than in previous decades.

The absence or presence of trees is often linked to the income level of a neighborhood. This creates huge health inequities.

In the United States, the difference in life expectancy between neighboring neighborhoods can be as much as a decade.

The difference in health isn’t just about the trees. But researchers say neighborhoods with fewer trees have worse health outcomes for their residents. In this way, it can be concluded that urban inequalities can worsen health levels.

However, there are other cities, like London, or countries like China or New Zealand, if they are worried about mass reforestation.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Image: ShipfactoryShutterstock

Tips for having more trees in the city.

The document offers a series of tips that can be used by public and private authorities:

  • Implement policies that encourage private tree planting.
  • Municipal exchanges that therefore facilitate the collaboration of public health and environmental organizations.
  • Link funding for trees and parks to health goals and objectives.
  • On the other hand, to raise public awareness of the benefits of public health. as well as the economic impact of trees.

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