In 2022 Wake County began a project to complete a Land Cover Analysis with Supporting Tree Canopy Assessment that covers all 857 square miles of Wake County, including the 12 core municipalities including Raleigh. Wake County worked closely with the municipal partners to determine the scope of this project. Each municipality receives its own report and data related to the project that was completed in August of 2023.
The objective of the project was to create a baseline to understand the extent and function of the existing tree canopy coverage, compare current tree canopy to past years (2010-2020), assess the canopy over a range of attributes and geographic boundaries and provide a resource to guide canopy initiatives with a focus on equity for vulnerable communities.
The Canopy Assessment provides Raleigh with in-depth information and analysis including:
- Land cover mapping
- Historical change analysis
- Tree canopy benefits related to air quality, carbon sequestration and stormwater.
- Identify planting areas based on a vulnerability analysis including socio-demographics and economics, urban heat islands, and stormwater runoff
- Provide possible planting locations and their prioritization
The City of Raleigh is working to analyze and apply this information to help inform and prioritize tree canopy management and guide the establishment of canopy metrics, regulations, and tree planting goals. As Raleigh continues to work to identify strategies to improve our urban forest to help meet climate, sustainability, resiliency, equity, and accessibility goals.
For more information on examples of what the City of Raleigh is doing now related to its canopy and urban forest, see the information below.
Raleigh Strategic Plan
Community Climate Action Plan
Tree Preservation and Planting
Buffer Building Bag Program
Street Tree Equity Project
Environmental Services Program
Mapping Urban Heat Islands
Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Urban Heat islands