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Street Trees Attribute

Overview

We examined the aerial photos to identify street segments with fewer than one tree per approximately 100 feet of linear distance. While many residential yards have trees, our definition of “street tree” was limited to mature trees with canopy extending over public street surfaces and young trees located within ten feet of the roadway and capable of shading street pavement once mature. Street segments without these trees were manually digitized in ArcGIS, and the final statistic was calculated as a percentage of treeless streets in each district.

By shading buildings, cooling the air through evapotranspiration, and intercepting rainfall, street trees are important to mitigating the urban heat island effect (Climate Change) and to reducing stormwater runoff (Stormwater). In general, increasing the coverage of urban tree canopy can be a significant part of an effort to promote pedestrian-friendly streets and city neighborhoods that are not overwhelmed by automobile traffic. Because they provide many benefits with few or no negative side effects, we adopted a standard of complete tree canopy cover for Madison's streets.

Performance Standard

100 percent street tree coverage in residential neighborhoods.