Big & Bold Strategy 2: Increase the amount of tree-canopy cover in the City, prioritizing investments in areas with the greatest urban heat island effects, areas of poor air quality, and areas with populations most vulnerable to the effects of increased and extreme heat.
This strategy could help Sacramento residents adapt to increased and prolonged heat waves associated with climate change. Trees keep the whole city cooler by providing shade and preventing pavement, cars, and concrete from heating up. This strategy would also reduce citywide greenhouse gas emissions as trees can reduce air conditioning energy needs, improve air quality, and sequester carbon. The City could require more trees to be planted in areas with higher pollution rates; plant trees along major roads and highways in disadvantaged communities, in parks, and in parking lots; work with landowners to add more trees to existing parking lots; plant more trees in parks and along City streets; and address barriers like irrigation and maintenance costs in disadvantaged areas. These tactics could also achieve important equity objectives.