Press Coverage

Urban Greening

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-7- Technology&more Using DigitalGlobe WorldView-2 satellite imagery and existing LiDAR data, Trimble's eCognition Essentials software automatically classified and mapped Boulder's green infrastruc- ture—down to the individual tree—giving them an accurate picture of their tree coverage citywide. This UTC assessment not only shows tree locations and coverage, it reveals how much potential tree canopy could be added. With this baseline, Boulder can begin to prioritize future management plans and track green infrastructure changes, whether those changes are losses due to EAB infestations or gains through green infrastructure improvements. In addition, with the targeted training provided, managers gain the knowledge to create a repeatable image-analysis system to continually monitor and measure the effectiveness of their urban forest betterment plans. Adding More Green Boulder is the latest to join a host of other cities including New York, Pittsburgh and Washington D.C. that have also used eCognition to accurately classify and map, as well as contin- ually measure, their UTCs. For New York, that critical, visual information enabled NYC Parks' managers to develop a strategic tree-planting model to help meet the city's "MillionTreesNYC" initiative by 2017. With the help of their UTC assessment, managers were able to identify streets and parks with tree deficits, prioritize planting campaigns and plant entire blocks of trees at a time. All of that effort culminated on Nov. 20, 2015, when city leaders planted the MillionTreesNYC initiative's one millionth tree in a city park—two years ahead of schedule––adding one million trees to an urban forest that already boasts five million trees. Pittsburgh's UTC analysis has been a boon to Tree Pittsburgh, a local advocacy organization committed to extending the city's tree coverage by 20 percent in 20 years. Although Pittsburgh's estimated UTC is 42 percent—higher than leafy Portland—it is a misleading number because large swaths of trees are on steep hillsides and are not doing the work of reducing storm water runoff and shading homes. The UTC analysis provides the intelligence to help resolve this imbalance. Incorporating the UTC analysis with other tree-related data, Tree Pittsburgh created its urban forest master plan in 2011 to serve as a roadmap to effectively and proactively manage and grow the city's tree canopy. With such a tool, the organization has transformed its former plant-by-request model into a pre- planned, targeted approach to address tree inequities, as well as energize public and private groups, businesses and property owners to help blanket the city in green. Background Building Forest unclassified eCognition classification delineating buildings from trees in a Boulder neighborhood. A new tree is added to the grounds of Washington D.C.'s Fort McNair, a U.S. Army post. Photo Credit: Casey Trees

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