Natural Systems

Natural Systems

Natural areas are subject to the same legacy issues as other parts of the urban form. People of color and low-income residents have less access to parkland. Lower income populations and communities of color may be disproportionately exposed to the hazards of the natural world as their housing may be in less desirable locations such as lower elevation neighborhoods that may be exposed to flooding, along roadways where they may be subject to decreased air quality or in neighborhoods that have fewer trees. Greenspaces and waterways provide necessary and sometimes the only relief from heat waves. To maintain those features, deliberate planning will need to occur to ensure that in drought and heat waves, the shade trees survive the conditions and continue to provide cool shade and reduce water evaporation from waterbodies. The implementations of strategies around tree planting and work with organizations such as Friends of Trees will assist in addressing inequities such as heat island effect.