Do Trees in Halifax Grow on Money?: A Comparison of Urban Tree Canopy Cover and Median Household Income in North End and South End Halifax

Kendra Marshman


Trees in the city provide numerous ecological, health, and social benefits to urban residents. Studies from large North American cities have confirmed a spatial pattern that higher urban forest tree canopy positively correlates with higher levels of affluence. The just distribution of trees will become increasingly important for urban planners and foresters as there is a national trend towards living in cities. This research report investigates the equity of distribution of urban tree canopy cover in two neighbourhoods on the peninsula of Halifax, Nova Scotia. High spatial resolution land cover data from 2007 and 2006 Statistics Canada census data was used to create maps and tables to answer the research question. The socio-economic indicators of median household income and population density are represented based on census tract dissemination areas from the 2006 Statistics Canada long survey. Preliminary results indicate lower median household income and higher population density in the chosen study area of North End Halifax compared to higher median household income and lower population density in the chosen study area of South End Halifax. Tree canopy cover density is slightly lower in North End Halifax (5.3%) than in South End Halifax (7.6%). These preliminary results coincide with findings of other researchers that higher household income and lower population density at the neighbourhood level may result in increased urban forest canopy. However, further research and more reliant tree canopy cover data is needed to determine the accuracy of these findings. 


opy cover, environmental justice, green infrastructure, urban forest, urban forest management plan.

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