Exploring the Interactions Between Transportation, Urban Forestry, and Climate Change Mitigation

Transportation planning significantly impacts urban growth, and the transportation community is actively looking for climate mitigation strategies. One of the most significant benefits that urban forests provide to cities is climate change mitigation, through a variety of mechanisms including direct carbon sequestration, cooling of urban heat islands, building energy savings, and decrease of volatile emissions from pavements.  We created an Albuquerque case study to explore the relationships and interaction between transportation, urban forestry, and climate change by looking at three distinct, recent efforts – the Report on Transportation-Related Climate Change Mitigation Strategies and Potential Applications in Central New Mexico; the Albuquerque Community Forest Ecosystem Services Assessment; and, research and modeling being done by Portland State University on how public health is impacted by urban forests. The case study shows that there are several strategic partnerships between transportation and urban forestry that can yield positive impacts to public health and climate change resiliency, and provide a clear-cut path for investment in our urban forest canopy.

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