Nearly half of Denver is paved over, up from less than 20% in the mid-1970s, according on a 2019 Denver Post analysis. American Forests said more trees can cool neighborhoods and reduce the “urban heat island effect” that is expected to worsen with climate change. Daytime temperatures in the paved-over, treeless parts of a city can be 5 to 7 degrees warmer during the day and even hotter at night.
In RiNo, only about 9% of the area has tree canopy compared to an average of 24% for the city overall, said Mallory Luebke, a research assistant at the University of Colorado-Denver’s school of architecture and planning.
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