Here at SeeClickFix, we love us some trees. We love supporting organizations that encourage community events around trees. We like planting them ourselves. We even climb the occasional tree. The premise of SeeClickFix is that individuals can act to improve their own neighborhoods, so our enthusiasm for trees is largely based on an assumption that their natural beauty improves communities and supports the local environment. The findings of some recent studies indicate that the benefits of trees may be more quantifiable than we realized.
For instance, a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania looked into whether an intentional effort to green a neighborhood could reverse the decline of a blighted area. The studies' found that planting a tree within 50 feet of a house can increase its value by about 9%. Moreover, Susan Watcher, the Professor who led the study note "People are not only more willing to choose this neighborhood and pay more for living in this neighborhood, but it also spurs other reinvestment." This virtuous cycle sounds a bit like the work going on at a local underpass, which began with some tree plantings and continue through Inside Out NHV.
The good news does not end there. A study conducted in Tennessee by The Department of Agriculture determined that the state receives a cumulative benefit of $638 million for just the trees found in urban areas, which breaks down to about $2.25 per tree per year. This benefit was largely due to the carbon storage capacity of the trees, which cut down on the pollution in the air, thereby enhancing the quality of life and well being for the community.
To a certain degree, it doesn't make sense to calculate the contributions that trees make monetarily. The value a vibrant community brings to its members can't entirely be captured in dollars. However, as municipalities continue to be strained financially because of the economy, it's important to remember how resources like trees enrich neighborhoods.
'Tis the Season for Potholes
With pothole season upon us SeeClickFix HQ is buzzing with excitement. Every Spring we see a considerable spike in citizen engagement platform wide. Our CEO Ben Berkowitz is famous for saying “potholes are the gateway to citizen engagement” and as the data shows he is spot on. We are all looking forward to see what municipalities have in store for their … Continued
SeeClickFix Helps Save Tax Dollars
SeeClickFix is not just a great way for citizens to get their concerns addressed by City Hall. In an era of budgetary pressure, it’s also a great way for cash-strapped municipalities to save money. This reality was highlighted very clearly in this insightful article in Government Technology. The basic problem the article outlines is that … Continued
“Accountability and transparency will only improve our city”
James Cappleman is running for Alderman in the 46th Ward in Chicago. He also is receiving publicly documented concerns from his constituents via SeeClickFix. On February 3rd Cappleman announced that he would like to see SeeClickFix integrated into the City of Chicago's business process. While the city can pay for SeeClickFix's pro tools we encourage … Continued
Omidyar Network and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures Bring Neighborhoods and City Hall Closer Together with Investment in SeeClickFix
January 11, 2011, REDWOOD CITY, Calif. — Omidyar Network and O'Reilly AlphaTechVentures (OATV) today announced an equity investment in SeeClickFix, the developerof technologies that enable citizens to report and monitor non-emergency issues in theirlocal community. The investment reflects both organizationsâ belief that technology canscale programs that foster meaningful engagement among citizens, their local governmentand others … Continued