American Forest is the oldest and largest national non-profit group that advocates for the expansion of American forests. Urban forests are one of their main focuses as they are said to reduce pollution, reduce energy demand, help manage a city’s water and help mitigate climate change. From a real estate standpoint, trees add value to a home as they create privacy, add character and provide shade. If you don’t want to live in a concrete jungle, Austin and the other cities on the 10 best cities for urban forests list might be a great place to start your home search. Trees can sometimes get in the way of construction or may even be considered dangerous because they have a big risk of falling.
What is an Urban Forest?
Ecosystems of trees and other vegetation in and around communities that may consist of street and yard trees, vegetation within parks and along public rights of way and water systems. Urban forests provide communities with environmental, economic and social benefits and habitat for fish and wildlife.
How Does American Forest Evaluate the Best Cities for Urban Forests?
American Forest looked at the 50 most populous cities in the US and judged them based on 6 main criteria:
- Civic engagement in maintaining the urban forest;
- Urban forest strategies and city greening to address city infrastructure challenges;
- Accessibility of urban forest and greenspaces to the public;
- Overall health and condition of the city’s urban forest;
- Documented knowledge about its urban forests; and
- Urban forest management plans and management activities.
You can learn more about the study and methodology here.
Austin Named One of 10 Best Cities for Urban Forests
Austin and 9 other cities were named to the list. The study showed nearly 29,000 of the cities nearly 161,000 acres were parks. They counted nearly 6,500 trees of 100 different species in Austin and nearly 8,500 trees of 96 different species in parks. 67% of the cities trees were 10 inches or less in diameter and 24% are 11-20 inches in diameter. The most popular species were crape myrtles, southern live oaks and cedar elms in both parks and streets. Austin’s tree canopy was measured at 30%. Austin has also made a commitment to continuing to plant trees and sustain its urban forest.
10 Best Cities for Urban Forests
Here are the 10 best cities for urban forests in alphabetical order:
- Austin, TX
- Charlotte, NC
- Denver, CO
- Milwaukee, WI
- Minneapolis, MI
- New York, NY
- Portland, OR
- Sacramento, CA
- Seattle, WA
- Washington DC
Why are Trees Important to Resale?
Trees are a bigger drive on resale of homes than you might think. Many people are attracted to established neighborhoods and much of that attraction has to do with mature trees and landscaping. Trees break up the monotony of house after house and give the neighborhood character. Not to mention, they also create privacy. Most don’t use their backyards because they feel like they’re in a fish bowl. A few mature trees would greatly improve usability and resale potential.
Looking to Buy a Home in One of the Best Cities for Urban Forests?
We can help! We specialize in buyers and take a consultative approach to home buying – which means we counsel you towards the best purchase and never hard sell. And, our buyer representation program is free! Check out our Austin Home Buyers section to learn more about our team and how we work. Then, call us at (512) 827-8323, email us at info@11OaksRealty.com or fill out our Buyer Survey to get started.