Urban Forests Make Cities More Resilient to a Changing Climate

Sandy_night_NYC, Avenue C at East 6th Street, Oct. 29, 2012. Photo: David Shankbone/Flickr

The loss of life and property damage from Superstorm Sandy is still being tallied, but the catastrophe is pointing a spotlight on the need for cities to adapt to more frequent, severe storms (also referred to, in many scientific circles, as "climate change").

"Anyone who says that there's not a dramatic change in weather patterns I think is denying reality," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Tuesday.

Bill Ulfelder, the New York director of The Nature Conservancy, has only lived in New York City for three years, but during that time the city has seen its two most costly storms (Irene and Sandy) over just 14 months. "You're going to see more and more of this," he told me on Tuesday.

Fortunately for all of us who like being outside, one way to make cities more resilient to these storms is to foster large, healthy urban forests.

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