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Forests 2018, 9(7), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/f9070439

Urban Park Systems to Support Sustainability: The Role of Urban Park Systems in Hot Arid Urban Climates

1
Landscape Architecture Program, North Carolina A&T State University, 231 D Carver Hall, 1601 E. Market Street, Greensboro, NC 27411, USA
2
Landscape Architecture Program, Arizona State University, DN 394, 810 S. Forest Ave., P.O. Box 871605, Tempe, AZ 85287-1605, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 June 2018 / Revised: 12 July 2018 / Accepted: 20 July 2018 / Published: 22 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Growth and Ecosystem Services of Urban Trees)
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Abstract

Quantifying ecosystem services in urban areas is complex. However, existing ecosystem service typologies and ecosystem modeling can provide a means towards understanding some key biophysical links between urban forests and ecosystem services. This project addresses broader concepts of sustainability by assessing the urban park system in Phoenix, Arizona’s hot urban climate. This project aims to quantify and demonstrate the multiple ecosystem services provided by Phoenix’s green infrastructure (i.e., urban park system), including its air pollution removal values, carbon sequestration and storage, avoided runoff, structural value, and the energy savings it provides for city residents. Modeling of ecosystem services of the urban park system revealed around 517,000 trees within the system, representing a 7.20% tree cover. These trees remove about 3630 tons (t) of carbon (at an associated value of $285,000) and about 272 t of air pollutants (at an associated value of $1.16 million) every year. Trees within Phoenix’s urban park system are estimated to reduce annual residential energy costs by $106,000 and their structural value is estimated at $692 million. The findings of this research will increase our knowledge of the value of green infrastructure services provided by different types of urban vegetation and assist in the future design, planning and management of green infrastructure in cities. Thus, this study has implications for both policy and practice, contributing to a better understanding of the multiple benefits of green infrastructure and improving the design of green spaces in hot arid urban climates around the globe. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem services; ecosystem modeling; sustainability; human health; environmental quality; hot arid urban climate ecosystem services; ecosystem modeling; sustainability; human health; environmental quality; hot arid urban climate
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Kim, G.; Coseo, P. Urban Park Systems to Support Sustainability: The Role of Urban Park Systems in Hot Arid Urban Climates. Forests 2018, 9, 439.

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