At the February 10th Lunch and Learn, I welcomed guests from Google to explain the new tree canopy AI tool recently launched for the City of Los Angeles.
To make sure every tree has the most impact, we use Tree Canopy Lab, a tool we helped build with Google that uses AI and aerial imagery to understand current tree cover density, also known as “tree canopy,” right down to street-level data. Tree inventory data, which is typically collected through on-site assessments, helps us know where to invest resources for maintaining, preserving and planting trees. It also helps pinpoint where new trees should be planted. In the case of LA, there was a strong correlation between a lack of tree coverage and the city's underserved communities. With Tree Canopy Lab, we overlay data, such as population density and land use data, to understand what’s happening within the 500 square miles of the city and understand where new trees will have the biggest impact on a community. Where are highly populated residential areas with low tree coverage? Which thoroughfares that people commute along every day have no shade? And it also helps me do what I have focused my career on: creating community-led programs. This data helps us go beyond assumptions and see where the actual need is, and it frees me up to focus on what I know best: listening to the people of LA, local policy and urban forestry.
Watch the Google Lunch and Learn session here: