Finding Refuge in the Urban Forest

Urban Forest Refuge
Urban parks provide a comfortable environment for urban residents and workers to relax. Credit: Priya Jaishanker

Urban forests and parks offer a refuge for those who live in urban environments. Many people in cities, especially those in lower income areas, live in hot, crowded conditions. Harsh sunlight reflects off of glass and metal structures, and loud noises emanate from cars and other machines. Under these circumstances, finding a comfortable place to relax can be difficult.

Parks help to remedy many of the shortcomings of living and working in urban areas. Trees provide invaluable shade, lowering temperatures beneath their canopies by up to 10 degrees and blocking the glare from neighboring buildings. The vegetation also reduces the ambient noise of the city, allowing people to hear the sounds of birds singing and wind moving through the leaves. All of these factors give people a place to rest, relax, and feel comfortable in their environment, promoting psychological well-being.  

Watch Finding Refuge in the Urban Forest to learn more. This video is part of a series, Trees for Energy Conservation, developed by the Southern Regional Extension Forestry and Virginia Tech Cooperative Extension with funding provided by a National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council grant.

Written by: Connor McDonald, Southern Regional Extension Forestry