Benefits of Parks and Open SpacesMitigating Climate Change
- Boston’s 125,000 park trees play an essential role in regulating air quality and temperature, capturing over 400 pounds annually of climate-warming greenhouse gases emitted from vehicular traffic.
- Greenspace counters the heat island effect of Boston’s streets, creating a cooler and healthier living environment.
- The average tree offers $62,000 of air pollution control over a 50-year lifespan, measured in public health costs, external economic services, and other forms of ecosystem valuation.
- Urban parks play an essential role in maintaining and regulating city water, helping to ensure a clean and stable supply of water. Absorption of excess storm water in city greenspace will become ever more critical with changing weather patterns. The Trust for Public Land has developed a formula to calculate an Annual Park Stormwater Retention Value. For Boston this is $8,675,000.
- Boston’s urban wilds and woodlands help maintain biodiversity and prevent wildlife species loss caused by climate change.
- Conservation of the city’s greenspaces must be a central feature of Boston’s climate action plan.
- The Boston Public Health Commission (BPHC) reports that just 57% of Boston adults and 29% of Boston teenagers engage in regular physical activity, a number that could increase with the promotion and support of free facilities in parks.
- The health savings due to park use for the residents of Boston for the year 2007 is $78 million (Trust for Public Land). The same study estimates that Boston residents saved more than $354 million by using free, outdoor park resources instead of paying for recreation and fitness facilities.
- 21% of Boston adults and 14% of our youth are obese. (BPHC)