Brightside knows the positive impact trees have on our city, and is working with the Louisville Tree Commission, the Office of Sustainability, and Brown-Forman’s Legacy Tree program to expand Louisville’s tree canopy. Louisville will reap a wide variety of benefits from increased tree plantings, such as the following:
Economic- Strategically placed trees help homeowners and businesses save up to 56% annually on air-conditioning costs by providing shade, and even decrease heating costs in the winter by providing insolation from the cold. In addition to energy savings, trees can help businesses be more successful. Shoppers in tree-lined commercial districts report more frequent shopping, longer trips, and willingness to spend more on goods. Trees also increase property values, with each tree adding up 1% to the sales price of a home or building.
Environmental- The most well-known environmental benefit of trees is improved air quality. Trees not only absorb carbon dioxide to produce oxygen, the energy cuts they provide means less pollution from power plants. Environmental benefits extend to the water supply as well, with trees reducing the amount of storm water runoff entering sewers, and purifying polluted water that runs through their roots. The shade trees provide not only helps individual homes, but on a larger scale reduces the “urban heat island effect,” which describes the temperature increase in urban areas due development and the resulting lack of vegetation.
Social- A tree-filled community is not only a sustainable one, but a healthier and safer one as well. Reduced air pollution from trees helps alleviate respiratory problems, and exposure to trees reduces mental fatigue. Research shows that trees help reduce crime rates and foster more sociable neighborhoods, creating a safe and close-knit community. This is because the presence of trees beautifies an area, fostering civic pride. People are more likely to participate in and care about a city they are proud of, and less likely to damage through crime.