Redlining, Tree Cover, and Temperature Variation

By Caylie Sims

Faculty Mentor: Professor Melina Patterson

Redlining is an environmental justice issue where, in the past, neighborhoods were graded based on a number of factors, one of which being race and class of its residence. These neighborhoods were given a grade, ranging from A as the highest grade, then B, C, and finally a D as the worst grade. Findings suggest that lower graded neighborhoods, occupied by people of color and poorer citizens, have higher internal temperatures and lower tree coverage, which can greatly affect health of residents. Certain regions of the United States have lower temperature differences between high graded neighborhoods and low graded ones .This project sought to analyze whether the variation in temperature is due to differences in tree coverage. High tree canopy coverage was analyzed in 2 cities (one low temperature difference and one high temperature difference) within 4 regions of the US (Midwest, South, Northeast and West). The tree coverage was tabulated to then calculate the mean of high tree coverage in each grader (A, B, C, and D) In all regions, for the lower temperature difference cities, there was more area covered by high amounts of tree canopy in the low graded neighborhoods than the high graded neighborhoods.