Urban Forest Equity Collective
With funding provided by Tree People, Accelerate Resilience LA, City Plants is working with Dr. Vivek Shandas as LA’s first Urban Forest Equity Visiting Scholar from July 2020 – March 2021. Vivek Shandas will help regional partners examine in depth how to address the inequitable distribution of LA’s urban forest. Dr. Shandas is a renowned expert on the intersection of public health, equity and green infrastructure and will examine opportunities for tree canopy expansion in low-income, heat-impacted areas. He will make GIS-informed recommendations and assess policy shifts needed to achieve the Mayor’s Green New Deal goal of a 50% increase in tree canopy in disadvantaged communities by 2028. Specifically, Mayor Garcetti’s Green New Deal goal is to “increase tree canopy in areas of greatest need by at least 50% by 2028 to grow a more equitable urban forest that provides cooling, public health, habitat, energy savings, and other benefits.” Dr. Shandas will contribute toward this urban forestry goal by analyzing currently available plantable space and the potential for urban canopy expansion and prioritization through a public health and equity lens.