Planting Trees with a Purpose in Arlington, MA

Going from a study to a shovel-ready project for the Town of Arlington

Project Partner: Town of Arlington, Spring 2019

Project summary: Every year, 200-300 street trees are planted in the Town of Arlington, MA. Most are planted by resident request, but a portion is planted at the discretion of the town. But how should the town decide where to plant trees? Luca created a ranking for all the possible street tree planting sites based on the potential for reducing temperatures as well as suitability characteristics such as land ownership, presence of power and gas lines, as well as existing tree canopy density. His work helped the Town of Arlington prioritize planting sites to maximize benefits for the community and environment. Through the process of creating a useful scientific product, Luca improved his ability to collaborate with multiple parties with different goals and resources.

Project deliverables: Policy brief and planting priority index maps indicating which open tree pits in Arlington should be planted based on land surface temperature measurements.

Results for an Arlington neighborhood from a planting-priority index that ranks possible tree locations based on their temperature, availability of open tree pits, and other suitability factors.