A new online tool measuring a neighbourhood’s wealth according to its trees takes root in Toronto

By Patty Winsa
Toronto Star
June 10, 2024
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada East

In Toronto, neighbourhood equity is typically viewed through a socio-economic lens, dividing us into haves and have-nots. But there’s another factor that contributes to our wealth — trees. And a new online tool that maps tree equity throughout the city, weighing canopy cover against a number of indicators such as poverty, climate and health, shows that many of the factors that divide us socio-economically are the same when it comes to the canopy. “In neighbourhoods with higher poverty rates or more residents of colour, there is almost 40 per cent less tree coverage than more affluent or more white areas of Toronto, according to data analyzed by American Forests, the non-profit that created the online tool, called TESA — Tree Equity Score Analyzer — in conjunction with the city.” The tool, the first of its kind in Canada, is not just for municipal use. It is free and publicly accessible.

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