Bridging Trees and Health: The Public Health Outcomes of Urban Tree Canopy

Thursday, March 25, 2021 | 10:00 – 11:30 AM

Trees play a significant role in improving public health in urban areas. They reduce air pollution and mitigate heat islands, which lowers the rates of respiratory disease, cardiovascular complications, and heat-related illnesses in cities. In addition to physical health, urban forests have also been proven to enhance mental and social well-being. Though scientific evidence of the benefits of urban trees has grown, public investment in trees has decreased.

In this webinar, learn how to bridge the goals of urban greening with the goals of the health sector through relevant case studies from across the country.

Webinar Resources

Resources from Dr. Desiree Backman and Dr. Neal Kohatsu:

Presentation Slides

Population Health Group within the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, University of California, Davis

A Review of the Health Benefits of Greenness, James P, Banay RF, Hart JE, Laden F. Curr Epidemiol Rep. 2015 Jun;2(2):131-142. doi: 10.1007/s40471-015-0043-7. PMID: 26185745; PMCID: PMC4500194.

Neighborhood Greenness and Chronic Health Conditions in Medicare Beneficiaries, Brown SC, Lombard J, Wang K, Byrne MM, Toro M, Plater-Zyberk E, Feaster DJ, Kardys J, Nardi MI, Perez-Gomez G, Pantin HM, Szapocznik J. Am J Prev Med. 2016 Jul;51(1):78-89. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 Apr 6. PMID: 27061891.

Exposure to Greenness and Mortality in a Nationwide Prospective Cohort Study of Women, James P, Hart JE, Banay RF, Laden F. Environ Health Perspect. 2016 Sep;124(9):1344-52. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1510363. Epub 2016 Apr 14. PMID: 27074702; PMCID: PMC5010419.

Effect of Greening Vacant Land on Mental Health of Community-Dwelling Adults: A Cluster Randomized Trial, Eugenia C. South, Bernadette C. Hohl, Michelle C. Kondo, John M. MacDonald, Charles C. Branas, JAMA Network Open. 2018 Jul; 1(3): e180298. Published online 2018 Jul 20. doi: 10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2018.0298

Citywide cluster randomized trial to restore blighted vacant land and its effects on violence, crime, and fear, Charles C. Branas, Eugenia South, Michelle C. Kondo, Bernadette C. Hohl, Philippe Bourgois, Douglas J. Wiebe, and John M. MacDonald, PNAS March 20, 2018 115 (12) 2946-2951; first published February 26, 2018.

Resources from Ray Tretheway

Green Prescription: The Study

Outline of Ray Tretheway’s vision

Other Resources:

Funding Trees for Health: An analysis of finance and policy actions to enable tree planting for public health, The Nature Conservancy

For Better Health During the Pandemic, Is Two Hours Outdoors the New 10,000 Steps?, The Wall Street Journal, February 14, 2021

Questions & Answers

Find questions and answers here:  Webinar Questions & Answers

Contact the Speakers

Dr. Desiree Backman

Director of the Population Health Group within the Center for Healthcare Policy and Research at the University of California, Davis

Email: [email protected]

Dr. Neal Kohatsu

Chief Health Strategist of the Population Health Group within the Center Healthcare Policy and Research the University of California, Davis

Email: [email protected]

Ray Tretheway

Founder and former Executive Director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation

Email: [email protected]

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