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Two of the Florida state universities, University of Florida (UF) and Florida International University (FIU), collaborated in assessing urban tree cover (UTC) for part of northwestern Miami-Dade County, covering an area of approximately 379 km2/146 mi2. The analysis estimated the area with current tree canopy (existing UTC), the area of potential tree canopy (possible UTC), and various other land cover categories. The assessment used two methods to establish those estimates. The first method utilized the i-Tree canopy assessment tool provided by the USDA Forest Service. The second method used a combination of multi-spectral satellite data and airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) datasets for detection and classification of land cover. Classification results were further analyzed in a Geographic Information System (GIS) to relate land cover distribution patterns (obtained from the second land cover classification method) to surface temperatures, land use patterns, socioeconomic factors, and health data.

Miami-Dade County contains about 1079 km2/416 mi2 of Urban Areas, based on Census 2010 polygon geometries. Most of the study site (364 km2/141 mi2) is located within Urban Areas, meaning that 33.7% of the Urban Areas in Miami-Dade have been analyzed. This, in turn, means that around 66.3% of the Urban Area in Miami-Dade have not yet been analyzed. The total population of Miami-Dade County, based on the 2010 Census, is 2,496,435, that of the Urban Area in Miami-Dade County is 2,297,029, and that of census blocks for which the centroid is located within the study area is 952,401. Hence the study area contains 41.5% of the population found in the Miami-Dade Urban Area, but covers only 33.7% of its area. This means that the study targeted a region with higher population density compared to the average of population density of the Miami-Dade Urban Area.


This report has been updated from the original.

See also the Miami-Dade County Urban Tree Canopy Assessment from June 2016.