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Sustainability

Urbanists Confront City Street Problem: Not Everyone Likes Trees

Community groups hope to improve the canopy in minority neighborhoods through education and outreach.

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Trees beautify neighborhoods, provide shade, and help combat sometimes deadly heat in cities. The problem is, they aren’t always welcome.

In Chicago, nonprofits working to improve the canopy and reduce “tree inequity” are focusing on educating residents about the benefits of trees and their maintenance. That’s particularly pertinent for neighborhoods in Chicago’s South and West Sides, many of which are minority communities that tend to have less tree cover than the city’s well-off North Side.