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‘Green inequity’ plagues U.S. cities, study finds

By Matt Hickman ~ MNN ~ 

A lot of green in the bank means greater access to parks and trees.

In America, financial wealth can get you a lot of things: power, prestige, influence and even greater access to woody vegetation.

newly released study conducted by forestry experts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and published in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning uses census data and aerial imagery to explore the link between access to urban green space and socioeconomic indicators in 10 cities: Seattle, Chicago, Houston, Phoenix, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York City and Portland, Oregon.

In these cities — and in North America’s urban areas as a whole, where over 80 percent of the population of both the United States and Canada now live — residents who enjoy some degree of affluence and/or have advanced educations also enjoy more immediate access to parks, trees and other types of greenery-filled spaces than those less wealthy and educated.

The push to improve access to parks and greenery to all city dwellers, no matter their socioeconomic background, isn’t new. Underserved urban areas are frequently starved of beautifying, mood-boosting natural elements

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