Urban Ecology and Nature’s Services Infrastructure: Policy Implications of the Million Trees Initiative of the City of Los Angeles

  • Stephanie PincetlEmail author
Part of the Human-Environment Interactions book series (HUEN, volume 3)


Cities across the United States have embarked on major tree planting programs for their purported environmental and social benefits. Trees offer a powerful symbol of nature in the city and to advocates of such programs, an obvious measure to improve environmental quality. Yet the science behind the environmental and social benefits remains meager, and in a time of budget austerity, the costs of planting trees and maintaining them are significant. As these programs have been implemented, they have also encountered unexpected resistance from residents. Los Angeles has embarked on a campaign to plant a million new trees to make the city the greenest in the United States. Using this example as a case study, this chapter examines tree planting through a lens of urban sustainability, discussing the challenges of transitioning from a sanitary city model to one of integrating nature’s services to help reduce urban ecological footprints. Moving from a sanitary city (or modernist city) to a sustainable city involves complex changes in the rights and responsibilities of residents and the governance structure alike.


Ecosystem services Urban tree canopy Urban sustainability Green infrastructure Governance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Environment and SustainabilityUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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