The urban tree canopy's understory: an analysis of the green view index in Wilmington, Delaware

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University of Delaware
Cities in the U.S. are growing and continue to lose tree canopy every year. City managers, already struggling to keep up with deferred infrastructure maintenance costs, must justify tree conservation and planting initiatives to a diverse range of stakeholders. Public-private partnerships provide the means to plan and fund projects collectively, but challenge traditional modes of understanding the benefits of trees. In this context, while tree inventories and structural measurement methods facilitate basic maintenance of the urban forest, a street view imagery-based analysis known as the Green View Index(GVI) can serve as a measure of the interactions that take place below the urban canopy. And by leveraging the use of machine learning to efficiently assess trees over wide geographic extents, municipalities can develop novel approaches to monitoring and maintaining their trees. This analysis demonstrates how GVI differs from inventory and remote sensing data and suggests its utility in formulating alternative urban forest policy.
Google street view, Green view index, Urban greening