Urban Forests Case Studies – Glossary

Bioswale – a landscape element designed to absorb and transport stormwater runoff to storm sewer inlets or directly to surface waters[1]

Caliper – the diameter of a tree’s trunk, usually measuring in inches

Combined sewer overflow (CSO) – excess wastewater that is discharged directly into local waterways during heavy periods of rainfall or snowmelt[2]

DBH – the common tree measurement of the diameter of the trunk at breast height (usually 4-5 feet above ground level)

Gallon – a word used to denote tree size by the size of the container housing the tree prior to planting

Geographic information system (GIS) – “a computer system capable of capturing, storing, analyzing and displaying geographically referenced information; that is, data identified according to location”[3]

Green infrastructure – a variety of natural elements (trees, grasses, gardens) designed and/or landscaped to manage water naturally[4]

Green roof or ecoroof – “a vegetative layer grown on a rooftop”[5]

Greenway – “a corridor of undeveloped land preserved for recreational use or environmental protection”[6]

NeighborWoods(TM) – a trademark held by the Alliance for Community Trees, representing a program that encourages volunteers to join together on tree planting and other projects designed to make their neighborhoods more vibrant and liveable[7]

Ordinance – “a law set forth by a governmental authority; specifically, a municipal regulation”[8]

Right of way – “a strip of land that is managed specifically for access or the construction and maintenance of electric, telephone, water, other domestic utilities, streets, roads and highways”[9]

Street tree – trees located on a strip of land between a roadway and a sidewalk

Urban forests – ecosystems composed of trees and other vegetation that provide cities and municipalities with environmental, economic and social benefits. They include street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way, water systems, fish and wildlife

Urban heat island – a built-up or urban area that is measurably hotter than its surrounding countryside.[10] This phenomenon is generally caused by impermeable surfaces and other infrastructure that reflect sunlight and heat instead of absorbing them.

Watershed – “an area that drains to a common waterway, such as a stream, lake, estuary, wetland, aquifer or even the ocean”[11]

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References

[1] United States Department of Agriculture. Natural Resources Conservation Service. Montana 2007. Bioswales. ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/MT/www/technical/water/Bioswale.pdf (accessed Oct. 12, 2012).

[2] United States Environmental Protection Agency. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. Combined Sewer Overflows. http://cfpub.epa.gov/npdes/home.cfm?program_id=5 (accessed Oct. 12, 2012).

[3] United States Geological Survey. Geographic Information Systems. http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/gis_poster/ (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[4] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Water: Green Infrastructure. Green Infrastructure Basics. http://water.epa.gov/infrastructure/greeninfrastructure/index.cfm (accessed Oct. 12, 2012).

[5] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Heat Island Effect. Heat Island Mitigation. Green Roofs. http://www.epa.gov/hiri/mitigation/greenroofs.htm (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[6] Merriam-Webster: An Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. Greenway. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/greenway (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[7] Alliance for Community Trees. National NeighborWoods Month. http://neighborwoodsmonth.org/ (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[8] Merriam-Webster: An Encyclopaedia Britannica Company. Ordinance. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ordinance (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[9] Right-of-way. The Dictionary of Forestry. The Society of American Foresters: Bethesda, 1998; p 155.

[10] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Heat Island Effect. http://www.epa.gov/hiri/ (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).

[11] United States Environmental Protection Agency. Water. Watersheds. http://water.epa.gov/type/watersheds/index.cfm (accessed Oct. 18, 2012).