City Trees Are Powerful Trees

American Forests is one of 40+ organizations participating in the Smart Surfaces Coalition, which works to help cites use “smart” surfaces such as green roofs, reflective and porous pavement and urban trees to address both climate change and social inequity simultaneously.

American Forests serves as a subject matter expert to educate policymakers on the role of trees in creating safe and smart transit and infrastructure. Our work supports the Coalition’s mission to implement smart surfaces in cities and enhance urban tree cover.

Trees in cities are important for improving equity: In almost every U.S. city, tree cover correlates with income and race — more trees in a neighborhood indicates higher incomes and fewer minorities. Reforesting cities improves quality of life and accessibility, creates jobs, improves air quality and reduces energy costs. Trees are also the best solution to climate change, and urban forests account for almost 20% of the carbon sequestration in U.S. forests.