Glossary of terms

Tree Equity Score (TES)

Block group: A neighborhood, or more specifically, a cluster of blocks within a US Census tract. Block groups utilized in TES are in Census Urbanized Areas and have non-zero population.

Carbon Monoxide (CO): A deadly air pollutant most commonly caused by thermal combustion.

Carbon Sequestration: The process of capturing and storing atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Children (0-17): Percentage of children, ages 0 to 17 years of age, in a block group.

Climate-related health risk: High, moderate and low numbers of hospitalizations and emergency room visits for conditions that are exacerbated by a changing climate. The conditions combined in this measure include diabetes, mental health, asthma and other respiratory issues, heart and kidney diseases.

Dependency Ratio: Seniors (age 65+) and children (0-17) as a proportion of working age adults (18-64).

Health Index: Self-reported poor mental health, poor physical health, asthma, and coronary heart disease equally weighted and combined to create a score from 0-100. Data for this index was provided by CDC PLACES.

Municipality: A city or town with its own government. For in this analysis, Municipalities come from Census Incorporated Places for most of the country, except CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT, and NY, which use a different definitions than the census.

Neighborhood: For the purposes of this analysis, a neighborhood is defined as an urbanized Census Block Group with a population greater than zero.

Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2): An air pollutant the most prominent source coming from the burning of fossil fuels.

Ozone (O2): A greenhouse gas and airpollutant in low levels caused by combustion of fossil fuels.

People of Color: Percentage of people in a block group that are Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, and includes all people classified as Hispanic by the Census Bureau.

People in Poverty: Percentage of people in a block group living on incomes below 200% of the federally-designated poverty line.

PM2.5: Particulate matter less than 2.5 microns in size.

PM10*: Particulate matter less than 10 microns and greater than 2.5 microns in size.

Priority Index: Six equally-weighted climate and socio-economic characteristics that are integrated into the Tree Equity Score. These widely-available characteristics include:

  • Percentage of people who are unemployed
  • Percentage of people living below 200% of of the poverty level
  • Percentage of people of color
  • Percentage of children and seniors who are categorized as “dependents”
  • Urban heat island severity
  • Health Index combining the prevalence of poor mental, physical, respiratory, and cardiac health into an equally weighted index

Senior (65+): Percentage of seniors, ages 65 and older, in a block group..

Sulfur Dioxide (SO2): A toxic gas released naturally by volcanic eruptions and as a byproduct of mining and buring fuels contaminated with sulfur compounds.

Temperature: A neighborhood aggregation of surface reflectance estimated by the Landsat Satellite. Surface temperature is a good estimate of where excess heat is generated in an urban heat island.

Tree canopy cover: This is the footprint of trees, when viewed from above the trees- the bird's eye view of tree crowns (leaves, branches and stems).

Tree canopy gap: The difference between the percentage of tree canopy cover and tree canopy goal.

Tree canopy goal: The percentage of tree canopy recommended for a particular neighborhood, city, or region based on natural biom and population density.

Tree Equity Score: An indicator of whether an area has a sufficient amount of tree canopy cover distributed in a way that all residents can experience the climate, health and other benefits that trees provide.

Unemployment rate: Percentage of the labor force that do not have a job, are available, and looking for one).

Urbanized area: A densely-settled core of block groups that are populated by 50,000 people or more, as defined by the US Census Bureau.

Tree Equity Score Analyzer (TESA)

Health Equity Zone: Geographic areas in Rhode Island where existing opportunities emerge and investments are made to address differences in health outcomes. Through a collaborative, community-led process, each Health Equity Zone conducts a needs assessment and implements a data-driven plan of action to address the unique social, economic and environmental factors preventing people from being as healthy as possible.

Flood risk : An estimate of high (100-year flood zone), moderate (500-year flood zone), and low flood risk based on FEMA flood designations.

Impact assessment: An estimate of the benefit new trees would have within an area. Benefits included in TESA include:

  • Heat reduction
  • Energy savings
  • Flood management
  • Air quality
  • Public health
  • Economic vitality
  • Social equity
  • Carbon sequestration

Ownership: An estimation of public or private ownership of property based on land use codes provided by CoreLogic.

Parcel: A legally- defined area of land that is privately- or publicly-owned.

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