by SM Landry, J Chakraborty
Environment and Planning 41(11): 2651-26702009
This paper investigated environmental equity implications related to the spatial distribution of street tree amenities by race and ethnicity, income, and housing tenures in Tampa, Florida. The researchers used land-use data and remote sensing to examine inequities associated with the distribution of trees covered within the transportation corridor right-of-way areas. Environmental equity was examined concerning land-use-specific tree canopy cover for each US Census Block Group within the study area. Specifically, race and ethnicity, income, and housing tenure were investigated for differences in tree canopy cover. Results showed that affluent neighborhoods have a more tree canopy than poor ones. A higher percentage of owner-occupied homes presents a greater financial incentive to invest in environmental amenities than renters. Evidence of racial inequity in the distribution of tree cover on ROWs was limited to areas of Old Tampa, but as the proportion of Hispanic or African-Americans increased, the tree canopy cover decreased. The authors end by recommending that future policy moves should address current disparities by intentionally targeting street trees in the areas with lower canopy cover.