Evaluating the Cooling Impact of Vegetation in Boston, MA
Project Partner: City of Boston, Fall 2020
Project Summary: Urban greenspace mitigates extreme temperatures via evapotranspiration and shading; however, quantification of vegetation cooling benefits in cities often rely on simple remote sensing greenness indices or tree inventories. In this project, I applied an interdisciplinary framework that combines a novel heat flux model quantifying the spatially explicit supply of cooling from vegetation with a vulnerability index capturing the residential demand for cooling from vegetation as a function of temperature, demographics, and population density. I utilized the framework to evaluate the impact of the planned redevelopment of Melnea Cass Boulevard on the balance of ecosystem service supply/demand. In forecasting the changes in tree population composition over time and space with consideration of the spatial variation in demand along the corridor, I identified regions with a mismatch in supply/demand where small scale design changes to the redevelopment plan would have a large impact on the provision of ecosystem services.
Project Deliverables: Presentation/report on the supply/demand framework, highlighting findings from the Melnea Cass pilot study (link).