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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Maximizing the canopy cover contribution of street trees in 2050 Rodríguez Rodríguez, Carolina


This research investigates the role of tree planting configurations at the neighbourhood level to achieve maximum canopy cover and maximize synergies. The growth of urban forests in the most climate vulnerable sites can be part of mitigation and adaptation strategies that promote collaboration between trans-departmental goals to combat increasing summer heat and other threats. Unfortunately, the areas which would benefit the most from having lush, healthy and extensive urban forests within a city are usually the ones that provide the least suitable places for trees to establish and mature, especially in densifying urban areas. Common limitations to maximize canopy cover in public land (i.e., where cities have ownership and management responsibilities of trees) include competition for space with existing infrastructure and minimal protection for existing tree canopy and its maintenance. Therefore, this research uses GIS modelling to test multiple tree arrangement scenarios on public streets of a low-canopy cover neighbourhood in Vancouver, Canada with the purpose of achieving a goal relevant to its size within the city-wide target of 30% canopy cover. Tree canopy is one among other metrics that serve as a proxy to identify the quantity and quality of the urban forest. This investigation found that a low-canopy cover neighbourhood has the capacity to improve the contribution of street trees to its total canopy cover as well as increase the canopy cover per street-segment, having implications in both thermal comfort and climate resilience.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International