The Urban Greening Model: Furthering a City’s Goal Towards Sustainability through Prioritized Tree planting Regimes
Urban forests, characterized by trees and green spaces in urban areas, are highly prized for their socioeconomic and environmental contributions to society. Models to quantify the benefits of urban forests exist (energy savings, storm water mitigation etc.), but there is no process by which the models' results are then directed towards the broader planning goals of a municipality. What this project proposes, therefore, is to investigate the relationships between the City of Thunder Bay’s (CTB) urban forest and its objectives with respect to sustainability and to demonstrate how these relationships can aid in creating a community development tool for furthering a city's goals towards sustainability. This model, called the Urban Greening Model (UGM), will help the CTB prioritize planting, greening and tree protection efforts that will maximize the level of net environmental, financial and social benefits to the community. As a result, the UGM will help planners integrate these benefits into municipal planning activities and other private agencies’ goals, and thus strengthen the cooperation and communication among these groups.