Given that over 50% of the global population lives in cities, addressing
urban issues is critical to Cornell’s ability to foster regional, national, and
global sustainability. New York State, with an urban population of 80%,
exemplifies the common paradox wherein cities have extreme environmental
footprints extending well beyond their boundaries, yet often are leaders in
proposing sustainability programs. For example, Mayor Bloomberg’s
MillionTreesNYC initiative (MTNYC) is the largest of a growing number of
urban tree planting efforts in the US, and has the potential to serve as a
model for how to engage citizens in sustainability initiatives with both social
and ecological outcomes. Although the focus of the Mayor’s initiative is the
actual planting of trees, a Research and Evaluation Advisory Board
Subcommittee has been established to identify related research needs. We
propose to work closely with this group, and with UNESCO’s NYC office, to
help define a MTNYC research agenda that will provide the starting point for
Cornell proposals developed in partnership with government, non-profit, and
industry partners, with the purpose of examining the ecological and social
dimensions of urban tree planting and of related urban sustainability
See the full funded proposal here.
See the MillionTrees NYC Green Infrastructure and Urban Ecology: Building
a Research Agenda final report here.
See a poster describing activities here.