Mitigating The Urban Heat Island Through A Targeted Look At Reforesation And Preservation Near Vulnerable Populations: An Applied Suitability Model
The urban heat island (UHI) is a pervasive phenomenon that affects city dwellers. There are certain populations who are especially vulnerable to its affects. Studies have shown that the urban tree canopy helps to mitigate and alleviate the negative effects of the UHI. The research was conducted for the City of Dallas, Texas. The objective of this research is twofold: one to employ an assessment to determine who is vulnerable to the UHI affects, based on the Center for Disease Control's BRACE Framework. Next, a suitability overlay model is used to analyze the optimal places where planting trees or reserving existing trees will most benefit the selected vulnerable populations. Results show the overall suitability for the study region at a block level. Further processing depicts the top most suitable sites for both reforestation and preservation. . The results provide a roadmap for the City of Dallas decision makers to focus on these identified areas. The methodology lends itself to an outline for other regions to implement when planning for UHI and urban tree canopy management.