Environmental Justice Implications of Urban Tree Cover in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Environmental Justice, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011

10 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2011

See all articles by Joan Flocks

Joan Flocks

University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law - Center for Governmental Responsibility

Francisco Escobedo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffry S. Wade

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida

Sebastian Varela

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Claudia Wald

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 9, 2011

Abstract

The social, environmental, and economic benefits of urban trees can mitigate many negative aspects of the built environment. As such, disparities in the benefits of tree cover as a result of class or racial segregation represent an environmental injustice. Quantifying the ecosystem services of urban tree cover is increasingly being used to advocate urban greening and sustainability programs. Although some cities have instituted programs promoting tree planting on public property, these programs most often take place in the context of promoting sustainability rather than addressing structural inequities in the built environment. Using field and U.S. Census data, computer modeling, and online resources, this study analyzed variables such as urban forest cover, diversity of trees, and tree condition among White, African American, and Hispanic areas in Miami-Dade County. We then use these results to quantify two key ecosystem services from urban trees and discuss how their provision can be inequitable. This might be due to a failure to first address structural inequities that have been recognized by the environmental justice movement.

Suggested Citation

Flocks, Joan and Escobedo, Francisco and Wade, Jeffry S. and Varela, Sebastian and Wald, Claudia, Environmental Justice Implications of Urban Tree Cover in Miami-Dade County, Florida (September 9, 2011). Environmental Justice, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1925146

Joan Flocks (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Fredric G. Levin College of Law - Center for Governmental Responsibility ( email )

P.O. Box 117629
Gainesville, FL 32611-7629
United States

Francisco Escobedo

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Jeffry S. Wade

Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Florida ( email )

P.O. Box 115706
Gainesville, FL 32611-5706
United States

Sebastian Varela

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Claudia Wald

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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