How redlining shaped Baltimore’s tree canopy

Read/listen to the full story from Science Friday.

Redlining was pervasive in American cities from the 1930s through the late 1960s. Maps were drawn specifically to ensure that Black people were denied mortgages. These discriminatory practices created a lasting legacy of economic and racial inequality which persists today. 

Less obvious is how redlining has shaped nature and the urban ecosystem. A recent study found that previously redlined neighborhoods in Baltimore have fewer big old trees and lower tree diversity than other parts of the city. These findings are part of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study, a collaborative research project which has tracked the city’s changing urban environment for the past 25 years. 

Cities can be part of the solution in sustaining species

Read the full story from Yale University.

Researchers found that a projected urban expansion of up to 1.53 million square kilometers over the next three decades threatens the survival of more than 800 species — but also that a focus on urban planning that protects habitats can mitigate the impact.

If it’s big enough and leafy enough the birds will come

Read the full story from Cornell University.

A new study from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology highlights specific features of urban green spaces that support the greatest diversity of bird species. The findings were published today in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning.

Associated journal article: LaSorte, et al. (2020). “Area is the primary correlate of annual and seasonal patterns of avian species richness in urban green spaces.” Landscape and Urban Planning 203, 103892. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2020.103892

Seeing himself in the science

Read the full story in the University of Washington Magazine.

Ecologist Christopher Schell believes that tapping into who he is as a person makes his research better.