Urban green spaces lock up tonnes more carbon than previously thought.

By using satellite imagery and analysing vegetation carbon content, researchers estimate that around 230,000 tonnes of carbon are stored in the above-ground vegetation of Leicester (pictured) — an average-sized city in central England. This is equivalent to 3.16 kilograms of carbon per square metre of the city, an order of magnitude greater than current national estimates for Leicester. The highest carbon-storage density was linked to tree cover in publicly owned or managed areas.

The team, led by Zoe Davies at the University of Kent in Canterbury, UK, recommends improved monitoring and management of urban vegetation to maximize its contribution to mitigating greenhouse-gas emissions.


J. Appl. Ecol. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2664.2011.02021.x (2011)