The prettiest city streets are always awash in greenery. But vegetation in urban areas does more than look nice—it saves cities a ton of money; $500 million, to be exact. A new study took an in-depth look at 10 megacities and discovered that urban trees trap runoff, cut wind speeds and energy expenses, and absorb pollution that contributes to healthcare costs. More good news: There's still room to grow. The findings, published in the journal Ecological Modelling, break the whole thing down.
Trees are more than just a beautiful sight.
Megacities—urban areas containing at least 10 million people—are a form of nature. They’re responsible for hosting around 10 percent of all humans on the planet. And an ecosystem bearing that much load needs to be maintained. That’s where trees come in: They cut down on wind speeds, lower temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide, and enhance property values. There have even been studies linking increases in green space to less city violence.