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Urban forests and social inequality in the Pacific NorthwestAuthor(s): John R. Mills; Pat Cunningham; Geoffrey H. Donovan
Source: Urban Forestry & Urban Greening
Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
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DescriptionResearch has shown there is a positive relationship between urban greenness and the well-being of cityresidents. But greenness is often unevenly distributed across a city, raising environmental justice issues.In 2011 and 2012 the USDA Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis program installed ground plotsin the urbanized areas of Oregon and Washington. We analyze these data for the urban areas west of theCascade Mountains, linking it with demographic data from the U.S. Census to examine the relationshipbetween greenness and socioeconomic status at a sub-regional scale. To explore some relations betweenurban forest measures and socioeconomic conditions and measures we developed four models: presenceof tree canopy cover with a logistic mixed model, and on a subset of the data, percent tree canopy coverwith a linear mixed model and tree count and tree species count with Poisson mixed models. We foundthat median household income, house value, land use, and years in the Tree City USA program contributedto explaining measures of greenness, such as canopy cover presence, percent canopy cover, tree counts,and tree species counts. This agrees with other studies, but does so at a broad scale covering the mostdensely populated areas in the Pacific Northwest.
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CitationMills, John R.; Cunningham, Patrick; Donovan, Geoffrey H. 2016. Urban forests and social inequality in the Pacific Northwest. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.16: 188-196.
KeywordsCensus demographics, forest inventory and analysis, greenness, mixed models, urban canopy cover
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