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Wealthy people have more trees.


Stashed in: Crime!, inequality, Plants!, economics, Rich people get richer.

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The difference between rich and poor neighborhoods is visible from space — just look for the trees. Tim DeChant at Per Square Mile drew this conclusion from research published a few years ago: 

For every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent ... The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees. On the public side, cities with larger tax bases can afford to plant and maintain more trees.

DeChant explored this theory by looking up neighborhoods on Google Earth. The image above is Bel Air; compare with South Central:

south-central-is-a-poor-area-in-los-ange

Jill Krasny and Zachry Floro offer more examples here.

In SimCity we're encouraged to put in more parks, fwiw.

And that explains why there's less crime in places with more trees.

So is it that poorer parts of cities cannot afford trees?

Or is it that the more affluent parts of cities lobby to get trees?

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