Modeling energy savings from urban shade trees: an assessment of the CITYgreen energy conservation module

Environ Manage. 2004 Nov;34(5):650-5. doi: 10.1007/s00267-002-7003-y.


CITYgreen software has become a commonly used tool to quantify the benefits of urban shade trees. Despite its frequent use, little research has been conducted to validate results of the CITYgreen energy conservation module. The first objective of this study is to perform a familiar application of CITYgreen software to predict the potential energy savings contribution of existing tree canopies in residential neighborhoods during peak cooling summer months. Unlike previous studies utilizing CITYgreen, this study also seeks to assess the software's performance by comparing model results (i.e., predicted energy savings) with actual savings (i.e., savings derived directly from energy consumption data provided by the electric utility provider). Homeowners in an older neighborhood with established trees were found to use less energy for air-conditioning than homeowners in a recently developed site. Results from the assessment of model performance indicated that CITYgreen more accurately estimated the energy savings in the highly vegetated, older neighborhood.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Cities
  • Conservation of Energy Resources*
  • Light
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Software
  • Trees*