The relationship between urban tree canopy cover and socioeconomic status in urban Halifax
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Urbanization has highlighted the importance of vegetation in city environments. The influx of people into city centers are concentrating larger populations into smaller areas, and this is having a negative impact on the environment. Urban vegetation, particularly urban trees, provide a range of environmental and social benefits to mitigate the negative effects of urbanization. The rapid expansion of city centers, is also negatively impacting some residents access to urban trees and the benefits that they provide. This project will determine whether there is a difference in the distribution of trees amongst neighbourhoods in urban Halifax, and investigate whether this difference is related to socioeconomic status. Socioeconomic status will be measured using the Canadian Marginalization Index, where low marginalization may represent a higher socioeconomic status, and high marginalization is associated with lower seriocomic status. The 2007 QuickBird multi-spectral satellite imagery and the 2006 Canadian Marginalization Index were used to determine the tree canopy coverage and socioeconomic status in each neighbourhood in urban Halifax. The relationship between socioeconomic status and tree canopy coverage was visualized using geographic information systems. To measure tree canopy coverage, the variables tree canopy per capita and tree canopy as a proportion of neighborhood area were developed. Neither tree canopy per capita nor tree canopy as a proportion of neighborhood area were statistically associated with marginalization. Thus, there is no association between tree canopy cover and the socioeconomic status neighborhoods in urban Halifax.