The accrual of urban forest amenities and the estimation of these benefits is an essential step in the process of preserving and expanding urban forest resources.

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that these benefits, specifically decreased cooling costs, can be effectively estimated using a mixed methodological approach that combines remotes sensing technologies with standard statistical analysis. This study tests the relationship between urban forest leaf area index (LAI) and household energy usage in summer 2001 in a mid-sized city. Results indicate an inverse relationship between LAI and energy usage, signifying that as LAI increases, energy usage decreases.

This study could be used by urban planners and others to promote urban forests, justify urban forest projects, and assess the outcomes current policy...