Award Name

Senior Award Winner

Author Information

Hoi Cheng WongFollow


This thesis project explored tree canopy cover (TCC) as an indicator for walkability and disinvestment in pedestrian infrastructure and urban livability in the City of Los Angeles (LA). The project consisted of three main components. The first component of the project is composed of a literature review on the scientific importance and economic value of TCC along with a brief overview of the history of redlining in LA. This section is followed by an analysis of the demographics of LA residents in correlation to tree canopy data, which was completed with GIS mapping. The last major component of the project was built upon a walking ethnography which revealed the unequal distribution of tree canopy as a pedestrian in LA. This work highlights the lack of consistent management and the lack of progress on tree canopy cover, which results in environmental injustices that are disproportionately affecting communities of color in LA. Ultimately, this thesis aims to claim that the city’s failure to meet their tree canopy goals is a reflection of their failure to prioritize LA residents and pedestrians’ public health and safety–especially since tree canopy will play an exponentially large role in maintaining residents’ quality of life as climate change intensifies.