In the megacities that are homegrown to nearly 10 percent of the world’s 7.5 billion people, trees deliver each city with more than $500 million each year in facilities that make urban atmospheres cleaner, more reasonable, and more pleasing places to live.

The study which is recently published in an online journal “Ecological Modelling” the international team of the researchers stated that in the 10 mega cities they observed, tree-based ecosystem assistances had a middle annual value of $505 million, which is equal to $1.2 million per square kilometer of trees. From the other viewpoint, the value was $35 per capita for the average megacity resident.

The lead author of the study, Dr. Theodore Endreny of the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, New York, said that the importance of trees’ services could be easily doubled by only planting more of them.

He said: “Megacities can increase these benefits on average by 85 percent. If trees were to be established throughout their potential cover area, they would serve to filter air and water pollutants and reduce building energy use, and improve human well-being while providing habitat and resources for other species in the urban area.”

The study covers the existing and potential tree cover and its share to ecosystem services in 10 megacity metropolitan area across five continents and biomes (a large, natural community of plants and animals that occupies a major habitat). And those cities were Tokyo, Japan, Mumbai; India, Moscow; Russia, Mexico City; Mexico, Los Angele; United States, London; Great Britain, Istanbul; Turkey, Cairo; Egypt, Beijing; China, Buenos Aires; Argentina.

Said one of the Endreny’s co-authors, Professor Sergio Ulgiati of University Parthenope of Naples, Italy that “Placing these results on the larger scale of socio-economic systems makes evident to what extent nature supports our individual and community well-being by providing ecosystems services for free. A deeper awareness of the economic value of free services provided by nature may increase our willingness to invest efforts and resources into natural capital conservation and correct exploitation, so that societal wealth, economic stability, and well-being would also increase. As a follow-up of this joint research, we have created in our university an urban Wellbeing Laboratory, jointly run by researchers and local stakeholders.”


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