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Climate Cities


The amount of greenery on your street depends on the amount of green in your pockets, according to a new study. 

You’d have hard luck trying to convince someone that trees are somehow biased. Their sprawling roots, awning-like leaves, and huggable trunks offer protection and solace to everybody and everything, big and small. For humans, they help clean our air and water, and offer cover in the summer from blistering heat. 

But a new study published in the journal PLOS ONE shows that their distribution often depends on race and class, a result of exclusionary zoning laws, racial segregation, and the country’s stark wealth inequality.

In the two-year-long study, a team of researchers from the Nature Conservancy found that 92 percent of low-income blocks in the U.S. have less tree cover and hotter average temperatures than high-income blocks. The inequality is most rampant in the Northeast, with some low-income blocks in urban areas having 30 percent less tree cover and average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius higher than high-income blocks. Five of the ten worst discrepancies are found in Connecticut, home to the most economically unequal met... Read more

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