Trees are vital for cities: not only do they clean the air and make things prettier, but they can prevent floods and even lower temperatures. MIT Senseability Lab created this insanely detailed, interactive map that lets you see how good the green canopy is in any particular spot in the city. Each area of the city is assigned a Green View Index number that tells you if a spot is lush or a desert. Aptly named Treepedia, you can drill down and see where tree cover is making a street a healthy spot to live or play, or if it needs some tree love, stat.

MIT’s Senseable City Lab, greenest street in NYC., new york green areas

MIT Senseability Lab operates under the reality that a more multi-disciplinary, interactive and real-time approach is necessary in order to successfully understand cities as well as serve and empower today’s urban citizens. One such arena the lab is addressing is that of green space. Treepedia uses data from Google maps to rate how green streets are. The map is totally interactive, so users are able to easily compare the availability of trees and nature among streets, neighborhoods and cities. MIT is constantly adding cities across the world, so you can also check out how your ‘hood compares to one in Paris, Geneva or London.

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Treepedia makes it easier for citizens in any zip code to find and access nature’s healthy benefits. Exploring what a green city is, what it will look and function like, is central to MIT Senseable City’s mandate. The lab’s Treepedia also forwards the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on the Future of Cities, which has prioritized canopies of trees as one of the key initiatives that can positively impact urban areas.

+ Senseable City Lab, MIT

Via Citylab

Images courtesy of Senseable City Lab, MIT and heipei