Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Tree Crover Decreases While “Grey” Surfaces Increased in Metro Vancouver, but It Isn’t All Bad News

The Metro Vancouver Regional District recently completed a study, Tree Canopy Cover and Impervious Surface - 2020 Update.

Map showing tree canopy cover (%) by city block within the Urban Containment Boundary. Select the map to enlarge.

Unfortunately, the study found that between 2014 and 2020:

  • Tree canopy cover decreased by 1%, from 32% to 31% within the Urban Containment Boundary.
  • Impervious surface increased by 4%, from 50% to 54% within the Urban Containment Boundary.

It isn’t all bad news; some municipalities, like Langley City, White Rock, Vancouver, and Maple Ridge, increased their tree cover.

Graph of tree canopy cover within the Urban Containment Boundary for each member jurisdiction showing 2020 and 2014 levels. Select the graph to enlarge.

While Langley City does have a large amount of impervious surface, we held the line as it only grew 0.3%, hovering at 62% between 2014 and 2020.

Like other municipal Councils in Metro Vancouver, Langley City Council understands the importance of growing the tree canopy to help mitigate some of the impacts of climate change and promote a clean, healthy environment. We also understand that we must increase the surfaces where water can filter back into the ground.

Many municipalities, including Langley City, are developing urban forest management plans for these reasons. Langley City’s new Official Community Plan also promotes the creation of less impervious areas.

You can read the “2020 Regional Tree Canopy Cover and Impervious Surface” report from Metro Vancouver’s website.

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