A Very Detailed, Interactive Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
October 5, 2017

Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy

A Very Detailed, Interactive Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy

Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy


A Very Detailed, Interactive Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy

“It reveals some startling patterns.”
via Atlas Obscura

In June, the Chicago Regional Tree Initiative and Morton Arboretum released what they say is the most comprehensive tree canopy data set of any region in the U.S., covering 284 municipalities in the Chicago area. Now, that data is helping neighborhoods improve their environments and assist their communities.

“When we go to talk to communities,” says Lydia Scott, director of the CRTI, “We say ‘trees reduce crime.’ And then they go, ‘Explain to me how that could possibly be, because that’s the most bizarre thing I’ve ever heard.’”

In Chicago, where more than 2,000 people have been shot this year, scientists are looking at physical features of neighborhoods for solutions. “We started to look at where we have heavy crime, and whether there was a correlation with tree canopy, and often, there is,” says Scott. “Communities that have higher tree population have lower crime. Areas where trees are prevalent, people tend to be outside, mingling, enjoying their community.”
–excerpted from Delaney Nolan, Atlas Obscura, August 14, 2017.

Read the rest of the article here.

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2 thoughts on “A Very Detailed, Interactive Map of Chicago’s Tree Canopy

  1. Another example of confusing Correlation and Causation. Just because communities that have less crime have more tree’s doesn’t mean more trees equals less crime.

    Maybe poor communities have more crime, and poor communities just so happen to have less money to plant tree’s.
    Or maybe the majority of crime centers around more densely built areas where there simply is less space for tree’s.

    Point is, there are hundreds of possible reasons as to why places with less tree’s have less crime. I wish this was a magical world where everything was 1 + 1 = 2 But it is not, and anybody who teaches other people it is, is only spreading their own lie.

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