Apr 24, 2023 - News

Alief to get a more dense tree canopy

Illustration of a tree growing out of a thermometer with a high temperature.

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Alief will be shaded by a lot more trees in the coming years.

Driving the news: Harris County Precinct 4 will invest $2 million to plant 1,200 trees along 17 miles of roads in Alief as part of its Alief Street Forest project.

Why it matters: Alief, a low-income neighborhood, has only an 11% tree canopy, compared to the Houston average of 33%, per an announcement by Commissioner Lesley Briones and the Harris County Office of County Administration.

  • The neighborhood in southwest Houston averages 10 degrees hotter in the summer months than well-shaded areas of Houston.

Zoom out: Low-income neighborhoods and communities of color have significantly less tree canopy throughout the country and thus are more likely to suffer from the urban heat island effect caused by a lack of shade.

Between the lines: Precinct 4 is using American Rescue Plan Act funding as part of a Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design initiative to plant these trees, citing a Journal of Public Economics study that found an increase in temperature is connected to increases in crime.

What we're watching: The first trees are expected to be planted late December or next January.

  • All 1,200 trees should be planted by 2025, per ABC13.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Houston stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Houston.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more