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Benefits of Urban Trees for People

Planting trees builds community and makes cities pleasant places to live.

Trees benefit human health by helping to create livable communities and are integral to both physical and psychological health.

Faster healing times –
  • People recovering from injury or illness heal faster when they have views of trees and nature outside windows. (Ulrich 1984)
  • Studies also show that healing times are reduced when people can walk in gardens and natural areas. (Scientific American, 2012)
Better public health Cleaner air for healthier lungs
  • Trees help to filter pollutants that lead to asthma and other respiratory issues. (MedPage Today, 2008)
  • Pollutant filtration by trees saved more than 850 lives and prevented 670,000 incidents of respiratory health issues in 2010. (The Nation’s Health, 2014)
Live near greenery for a longer life
  • This study shows that all of the environmental benefits trees provide, means that more greenery - for example, street trees - will help people live longer (New York Times, 2016)
  • An invasive beetle showed the Midwest how mortality rates changed when trees died (The Atlantic, 2013)
Healthier babies
  • Babies are have a healthier birth weight when they are born to mothers who live in greener areas. (Statesman Journal, 2014)
  • A study in Vancouver showed that women living in tree-lined communities were more likely to have full pregnancy terms. (CityLab, 2014)
Reduced symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) – Lower stress levels –
  • People who view nature after stressful situations have reduced physiological stress responses, creating a positive impact on people’s immune systems. (ACTrees, 2013)
  • A study in Delware, shows the level of neighborhood stress corresponds the number of urban trees on a block. (Townsend, et al., 2016)
More trees help ease the need for antidepressants and make people happier –
  • A study in London, England found that higher density of street trees coincides with lower antidepressant prescription rates. (CityLab article, 2015)
  • Urban areas with more green space increases life satisfaction and improves mental health while decreasing psychological distress. (ACTrees, 2013)
Increased personal effectiveness Noise reduction Help know your neighbors Source of urban food Ease feelings of a long commute
  • Street trees help ease the time commuters feel like they are waiting for transportation. (CityLab, 2015)

 

TREES AND HUMAN BENEFITS RESOURCES

Landscape and Human Health Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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