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Urban forest cover of the Chicago region and its relation to household density and income

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Iverson, Louis R.; Cook, Elizabeth A.; Cook, Elizabeth A.

Year Published



Urban Ecosystems. 4: 105-124.


Urban forests and herbaceous open space play a vital role in the environmental and aesthetic ?health? of cities, yet they are rarely identified in land-use inventories of urban areas. To provide information on urban forests and other vegetative land cover in Illinois cities, Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) data from June 27, 1988, were classified for the Chicago metropolitan region (9,717 km2). Ten land-cover classes were identified, including two types of forestland (occupying 5.8% of the total area), residential land with trees (14.6%) or without trees (7.8%), cropland (37.5%), two types of grassland (7.7%), urban with impervious surfaces (23.1%), water (1.6%), and miscellaneous vegetation (2.1%). Correlation analyses indicated that household income and household density are strongly related to land covers in the region, particularly those with tree cover and urbanized land. Population changes for 1980?1985 and 1985?2010 (projected) show a pattern of increasing density in the urbanized zone concurrent with continued urban sprawl, primarily into current cropland.


Chicago; Illinois; urban ecosystems; landscape ecology; socioeconomic; household density; household income; Landsat Thematic Mapper


Iverson, Louis R.; Cook, Elizabeth A. 2000. Urban forest cover of the Chicago region and its relation to household density and income. Urban Ecosystems. 4: 105-124.

Last updated on: October 18, 2007