World Resource Institute

Philadelphia, United States

With a community-centered approach, Philadelphia aims to plant trees and protect its ecosystem.

“Philly’s urban forests are not just beautiful, they are a key element of our public health and well-being, infrastructure and our climate action plan. That’s why we are investing in our trees to manage urban heat, stormwater, and air quality, and focusing on greening the parts of our city that need it the most urgently. We urge our fellow cities to join us in this effort.”

James F. Kenney, Mayor, Philadelphia

Success Story

Philadelphia is currently embarking on the Philly Tree Plan, a 10-year strategy to plant and care for its urban forests, guided by values of sustainability, community engagement and environmental justice. The plan comes as the city’s inner and nearby forests face threats from development, invasive plants and insects, including exotic woody vines, the emerald ash borer and the more recent and highly destructive lanternfly. Moreover, Philadelphia’s diminished tree cover in urban areas is leading to an increase in urban heat islands and the loss of countless other ecosystem services, which affect poorer and more vulnerable communities more than others. Outreach for the Philly Tree Plan will engage residents in communities that have previously been underinvested in and will be done with a community-centered approach to bring the benefits of trees to communities that need them most and ensure sensitivity to differences in the cultures, economic realities and build environments across the city.

City image by Chris Henry / Unsplash