Fourth Ward Tree Canopy Enhancement Project
combat the heat with trees
Trees are the backbone of our communities. They shade the yards and sidewalks, prevent urban heat islands, improve physical and mental wellbeing, filter out air pollutants, tame stormwater, reduce crime, and create a sense of place. While community trees are providing immeasurable benefits for those living among them, not all neighborhoods enjoy ample tree canopy.
Neighborhoods that experience the highest temperatures are typically divided along race and class lines. Wealthy neighborhoods have 65% more shade than the poorest communities. And in neighborhoods where the majority of residents are people of color, there is 33% less tree canopy on average compared to majority-white neighborhoods. Read more.
What are urban heat islands?
Urban heat islands are metropolitan places where buildings and pavement cause it to be hotter than their outlying areas, with the impacts felt most during summer months. Paved roads, parking lots, and buildings absorb and retain heat during the day and radiate that heat back into the surrounding air at night.
Neighborhoods in a highly-developed city can experience mid-afternoon temperatures that are 15°F to 20°F hotter than outlying areas with more vegetation and less development. Learn more about heat island cooling strategies.
Below we provided a heat map comparing Fourth Ward to parts of Montrose. Check out the Houston and Harris County's urban heat island mapping campaign.