Trees increase neighborhood livability by improving air and water quality, reducing stormwater runoff, reducing traffic speeds, providing shade, and providing wildlife habit. Trees also dramatically increase property values and help foster a sense of community. Vancouver’s Urban Forestry Program, part of the city’s Public Works Department, assists neighborhoods with tree planting projects, helps residents select the right trees to plant in the right places, provides education about proper tree care, and helps the community protect and grow the urban forest canopy.
How Trees Can Retain Stormwater Runoff provides information and resources for using trees to retain stormwater and improve water quality
Benefits of Trees & the Urban Forest describes ways in which trees function as valuable environmental assets
Urban Forestry & Urban Greening article on the effect of urban trees on the rental price of single-family homes in Portland, Oregon
City Trees and Property Values discusses how healthy trees increase property values
That Tree on the Corner May Be Worth More Than Your House highlights one city's efforts to translate tree benefits into dollars and cents
Green Cities: Good Health compiles 40 years of scientific studies on the benefits of nature on human health
Environment and Behavior article on the effect of trees on crime in Portland, Oregon
Designing our Future: Sustainable Landscapes video describing how trees improve poor air quality and urban heat islands in our cities
Green Plants or Power Plants researches how strategically planted trees reduce energy use and save money
Urban Heat Island: Trees and Vegetation describe how trees help cool the environment, making vegetation a simple and effective way to reduce urban heat islands
In short, trees just make life more pleasant.
Vancouver's vision for the future of urban forestry reflects the community's deep-rooted desire to live in a healthy and vibrant community. The City is committed to managing its urban forests to preserve and enhance this valuable community resource for the good of the environment, the economy, and the health and well being of current residents and future generations.
However, the wrong tree in the wrong place can create more problems than it solves. It's important to choose the location and species of your trees carefully, and to care for them correctly, so that they can provide the maximum benefits for the entire community. Visit the tree care and planting page for more information on this topic.
View the Healthy Trees, Healthy Watersheds poster and the Benefits of Trees poster for more information on how urban trees improve air and water quality in our communities. Print these posters to hang at your home, work, classroom or community space.