Health Impact Assessment of Philadelphia's 2025 Tree Canopy Cover Goals


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Cities across the world are undertaking ambitious projects to expand tree canopy by increasing the number of trees planted throughout public and private spaces. In epidemiological studies, greenspaces in urban environments have been associated with physical and mental health benefits for city dwellers.

PISC Senior Scholar Michelle Kondo, PhD, et al., conducted a a greenspace health impact assessment to estimate the annual premature mortality burden for adult residents associated with projected changes in tree canopy cover in Philadelphia between 2014 and 2025. Their findings suggest 403 (95% interval 298–618) premature deaths overall, including 244 (180–373) premature deaths in areas of lower socioeconomic status, could be prevented annually in Philadelphia if the city were able to meet its goal of increasing tree canopy cover to 30%.

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