Tim De Chant at a website called Per Square Mile says it’s easy to spot income disparities through satellite images. Just look for the trees. The greener the neighborhood, the greater the wealth. A few commenters point out that it isn’t always quite that simple; you need to know what you’re looking at. For Morenci, it’s obvious that the Silver Creek subdivision east of the high school is the poorest.
Satellite images aren’t all the same, either. Take a look at Fayette. It’s not very green at all since it was taken before the leaves came out in the spring. How do I know it’s spring? The high jump landing pad is in the park.
They found that for every 1 percent increase in per capita income, demand for forest cover increased by 1.76 percent. But when income dropped by the same amount, demand decreased by 1.26 percent. That’s a pretty tight correlation. The researchers reason that wealthier cities can afford more trees, both on private and public property. The well-to-do can afford larger lots, which in turn can support more trees. On the public side, cities with larger tax bases can afford to plant and maintain more trees.