How urban wastelands do millions of dollars of work

For most city dwellers, wastelands are abandoned useless lands. However, nature has a completely different opinion. Nature is a unique ecosystem where everything is laid out on the shelves.

This is how forests cleanse the rivers flowing through them, which provide us with clean drinking water, and trees and shrubs growing along the banks absorb carbon dioxide, saving our planet from impending global warming. But what about wastelands?

Ganwo Kim and Patrick Miller of the Technical College in Blacksburg, Virginia, took up this question. As the object of their research, they chose desert lands with an area of ​​32 square meters. km in the vicinity of the town of Roanoke. Using aerial photography, they mapped the site and identified the types of plants growing on it.

The next task that scientists have identified for themselves is to evaluate in monetary terms the uncompensated labor that nature performs in this vacant lot. They found that a third of that land is covered in trees, which holds about 107, 000 tons of carbon worth $ 765, 000 and removes up to 91 tons of pollution worth $ 916, 000 a year.

By providing shade on hot days, trees free the residents of the town from the need for air conditioning and save them another $ 211, 000. In a word, money is literally underfoot. According to the researchers, with this in mind, local authorities should provide tax incentives to the owners of vacant lots.