Deborah Boyer is a project manager at Azavea and also serves as the project manager for PhillyTreeMap and Azavea’s other urban forestry initiatives.
Street trees play a crucial role in creating a healthy urban environment by improving air quality, reducing energy costs for homeowners, and even enhancing property values. Since April 2011, people in the greater Philadelphia area have been showing their love for trees by adding information to PhillyTreeMap, a web application that encourages the public to get involved in the process of mapping the urban forest.
American cities are filled with trees. Often referred to as the urban forest, these trees line our streets, improve our air and water quality, and enhance our neighborhoods. Maintaining and caring for the trees is both a crucial and time consuming process. When municipal departments and non-profit or community groups organize management tasks, a current and complete inventory of street trees can be a valuable tool to assist with scheduling planting and tending efforts. Unfortunately, such inventories are resource intensive and can be difficult for organizations to conduct on a regular basis.