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Urban Trees Save Cities $500 Million Annually

According to a recent study published in the journal Ecological Modeling, planting trees in urban areas saves megacities more than $500 million a year in “public health costs, energy expenses, and environmental protection”.  Scientists at the State University of New York determined the annual value of trees by looking at the ecosystem services they provide in 10 megacities including Beijing, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Mumbai.  Trees cover about 21 percent of the cities, and save $35 per resident per year in pollutant reduction, storm runoff, CO2 sequestration, and building heating and cooling costs.  According to co-author Sergio Ulgiati of the University Parthenope, “Placing these results on the larger scale of socio-economic systems makes evident to what extent nature supports our individual and community well-being by providing ecosystem services for free.”