AMERICAN FORESTS conducted an urban ecosystem analysis of the Delaware Valley region to provide community leaders with detailed information about the region's tree cover and its environmental and economic impacts. The analysis documents what landscape changes have occurred over time and how these changes have impacted the environmental services the urban forest provides to the region. The study used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology to connect image analysis of the area to ecological assessment of tree cover change trends over the last 15 years.
As community leaders plan for future regional development and urban revitalization, the information and tools provided in this project will become even more useful. The data from Urban Ecosystem Analysis along with the GIS software, provided by American Forests, offers green infrastructure planning as a strategy for calculating the benefits of the Green City Strategy, implementing the Clean Water Act at the watershed level, and visualizing the smart growth goals of DVRPC's Projected 2025 Plan.