Theodore Endreny, Ph.D., P.H., P.E.Professor and Chair, Dept of Environmental Resources Engineering, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, SUNY ESF
Megacities are demographic epicenters in the production of livelihoods and market places, yet their production is jeopardized by pollution, climate change, and budget gaps limiting investments in education and healthcare. This research estimated existing and potential, tree cover, and its contribution to cleaner production, climate change mitigation, and economic savings in 10 megacities, across 5 different continents and biomes. We used i-Tree Eco estimates of the value of tree cover to reductions in air pollution, stormwater, building energy, and carbon emissions for London, UK, and developed biophysical scaling equations to estimate tree cover benefits for other megacities. The metropolitan areas ranged from 1173 to 18,720 sq km (median value 2530 sq km), with median tree cover 21%, and potential additional tree cover 19%, of this area. Median tree cover density was 39 m2/capita (compared with global value of 7800 m2/capita), with density scaling with biome type, lower in desert and tropical biomes, and higher density in temperate biomes. Median benefits to megacities, adjusted for purchasing power parity, were $482 million/yr from reductions in CO, NO2, SO2, PM10, and PM2.5, $20 million/yr in avoided stormwater processing by wastewater facilities, $0.5 million/yr in building energy heating and cooling savings, and $8 million/yr in CO2 sequestration. These benefits had a median contribution of 0.1% to megacity GDP, and megacities can nearly double these benefits by establishing trees in their potential tree cover area. These estimated benefits do not account for all ecosystem services or natural capital values of the urban forest, which through respiration helps sustain the production of livelihoods and market places.
Theodore Endreny is a Professor and Unit Head in the Department of Environmental Resources Engineering at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). Professor Endreny is a professional hydrologist and registered professional engineer in New York, and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Resources from Cornell University (1990), completed a Peace Corps volunteer assignment in Honduras (1992), earned his Master of Science degree in Biological and Agricultural Engineering from North Carolina State University (1996), and earned his Doctoral degree in Water Resources Engineering from Princeton University (1999). Professor Endreny’s research goal is to help communities engineer resilient water resources systems to deliver sustaining ecosystem services within a changing critical zone and climate. To achieve that goal Professor Endreny’s group engages in monitoring, modeling, and management using interdisciplinary ecological engineering design principles that contribute to the development of i-Tree Tools. Professor Endreny teaches courses in engineering hydrology and hydraulics, river restoration, and ecological engineering in the tropics. Professor Endreny is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Engineers without Borders, and the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science, provides university service for SUNY ESF, and serves on the editorial board for Hydrological Processes and the International Journal for River Basin Management. Professor Endreny was the recipient of a SUNY Chancellor’s Internationalization Award (2004), a Fulbright Commission Research and Lecturer Sabbatical award to Cyprus (2005), the SUNY ESF Undergraduate Student Association Distinguished Teacher Award (2009), the US nomination for the IEEE GHTC Global Humanitarian Engineer of the Year (2013), and the Fulbright Commission Distinguished Chair in Environmental Sciences at Parthenope University, Italy (2016).
Host: Dr. Ben O’Connor