Urban Forest Climate and Health Menu

Urban forest managers and allied professionals (such as planners, public works staff, tree wardens, and public health officials) need access to tools and information that provide guidance to reduce climate risks to urban forests and promote their beneficial functions. NIACS, American Forests, and partners developed a "menu" of actions that provide benefits for human health, climate adaptation, and carbon mitigation in urban forests.

Download complete menu

Download one-page menu handout

Browse an online menu

Climate & Health Action Guide

NIACS and American Forests recently partnered to create a Climate & Health Action Guide for the Vibrant Cities Lab. The Guide outlines a process for creating urban forestry projects that optimize climate and health outcomes. It includes five phases which reflect the structure of our Adaptation Workbook and features a variety of research on the connection between urban forests and public health, as well as resources to support adaptation actions.

The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation provided generous support to this project as part of a broader investment to optimize urban forests for climate and public health outcomes.


Featured Resources for Rhode Island


Tree Equity Score Analyzer

American Forests developed a Tree Equity Score to help people better understand and address the inequities related to tree cover in urban areas. The Tree Equity Score ​is a standardized way to measure how well a neighborhood or municipality is delivering the many climate, health and economic benefits that trees provide. ​The Rhode Island Tree Equity Score Analyzer (TESA) is a free, state-of-the-art interactive tool which support both policy and project-level interventions by incorporating local data, such as hospitalizations, carbon sequestration and flood risk, with ownership parcels. TESA can help urban foresters, city managers and community advocates identify parcel-specific planting opportunities and estimate the impacts of tree planting scenarios. Users are also able to generate an impact report that quantifies such factors as carbon sequestration, stormwater infiltration and air pollution captured.

Rhode Island Climate & Health Tree List

The Climate & Health Action Guide also includes a list of tree species for Rhode Island to support climate change adaptation, carbon mitigation, and human health benefits.

Download the Rhode Island Climate & Health Tree List

The list was developed to aid Rhode Island community forestry practitioners in selecting trees to reduce climate change vulnerability, reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and provide benefits to human health. It is meant to be a complement to other tree selection resources. Other factors may also need to be considered, such as aesthetics, local site conditions, wildlife value, or nursery availability. It is also important to note that some species may have climate and health benefits but may not be suitable for planting for other reasons, such as having invasive potential or susceptibility to pests or pathogens.