Atlanta’s Urban Forest
Atlanta is unique in the country and it’s moniker of “city in the forest” is well-deserved. While it does limit the amount of development that can take place and what residents can do with their properties, it provides a range of positive benefits to those who live in the city. Although the urban forest has been under stress lately, it’s still a beautiful thing to see.
Those benefits include:
- Green and pleasant land
- Psychological benefits
- Reduction in air pollution
- Dissipate heat
- Carbon sequestration
Atlanta, a Green and Pleasant Land
Even for the most hard-nosed urbanite, the sight of trees and a lush green canopy overhead is a pleasure to behold. There is something about a forest that is pleasing to humans and wildlife and building a city in and around one is the way forward in our opinion.
Trees provide shade, keeps people cool and provides that essential link to nature we are programmed to desire. Doing all that while in a metro area is the ideal way to keep a city happy and more content than in a concrete jungle. If you like watching birds and animals, there is no shortage of either in Atlanta.
Reduction of Air Pollution
We know trees take in carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, that’s basic biology. Trees also filter out other elements of the air too including nitrates, oxides, ozone, and other particulates that would otherwise find a home in our lungs. While it is still necessary to control emissions, the effect of living with trees is healthy for all of us.
Dissipation of Heat
Heat builds up wherever there are people living together or large amounts of traffic. Our cities have both in abundance, which is why the greenhouse effect is so worrying. Whether you believe humans are responsible for global warming or not, the cooling effect of trees helps us all.
In hot summers, it’s natural to seek shade from the glare, which is provided by tree canopy almost everywhere in the city. Even this one example shows how an urban forest such as that in Atlanta benefits us all.
Carbon sequestration is the process by which trees and plants absorb carbon and use it in growth. That’s the reason the Amazon rain forest is so important and why urban forests should be encouraged. By providing huge carbon sinks, these trees reduce the effect our carbon emissions has on the world around us.
Whether you believe in global warming or human’s effect on the environment, an urban forest will still appeal. It makes our city more beautiful in the spring, summer and fall and is a sight to see all year-round. While it provides challenges to an urban center, they are challenges that can be overcome with a little planning that benefits everyone.