Smart Trees Pacific completed a spatial Urban Tree Canopy Assessment in May 2012 of the major urban centers of Oahu. The assessed area includes more than 250 square miles of Leeward and Windward Oahu, from Kalealoa to Kaneohe. This spatial technology has only been available in recent years and has been applied successfully to other cities, such as New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Honolulu is the first tropical island location chosen to participate in an Urban Tree Canopy Assessment.
The Spatial Analysis Lab at the University of Vermont has developed a specialized computer application that uses aerial and satellite photos supplied by the US Geological Survey to extract and map the tree canopy and other ground surface features for analysis. By combining existing land-based maps from the City and State planning offices the analysis identifies the extent of tree canopy, its location, ownership and potential planting sites that can enhance urban tree canopy with its associated benefits. In addition, with the
aid of rainfall, soil and climate zone maps, planners, landscape architects and arborists will be able to make better tree planting decisions.
One goal of the project is to provide government agencies, planners, commercial developers and others with an interest in our urban forest, with an understanding of the current location and ground coverage of our urban tree canopy. The UTC data could be used by environmental groups, non-profit organizations, educators and others to strategically plan how to plant trees to maximize their environmental benefits. This could lead to better management of watershed, storm water control, coastal water quality, urban heat islands and air quality through better use of trees.
This project is part of the long range Hawai`i urban forestry strategy planning initiative in which Smart Trees Pacific has partnered with the USDA Forest Service; State DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife, Kaulunani Urban and Community Forestry Program, City and County of Honolulu, Department of Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry Division, and Department of Planning and Permitting, Honolulu Land Information System.
View the data at the City & County of Honolulu HOLIS (UTC online map)
NEW! Take a quick tour – learn how to use the data!
Download a copy of our new STP brochure – Tree Canopy Goals
For more information contact Jolie Wanger.