‘Green heat’ map shows concentration of trees by Brooklyn neighborhood

Posted at 11:35 PM, Oct 07, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-07 23:35:50-04

Sure your neighborhood is hot, but is it “green” hot? A real estate start-up is mapping the city with a heat map based on the number of trees in an area.

Trapped in the middle of asphalt and concrete, New Yorkers know that sometimes just seeing a little green can help you breathe a little easier.

“I don’t know, something about trees, it makes it just more relaxing, it looks prettier,” said Brandi Durant
of Sunset Park.

That’s why the real estate web site has started tracking those trees with Green Heat Maps.

The more trees in a neighborhood the brighter the green — Brooklyn’s Park Slope sticks out like a neon hi-lighter.

The map also features the location of neighborhood farmers markets and major parks.
According to the company’s blog, Rentenna decided to create the map because “choosing an apartment has come to involve far more than a simple price comparison exercise: for many renters issues like quality of life have taken center stage.”

But while some Brooklyn blocks are covered with a canopy of greenery, others like 42nd street here in Sunset Park have barely a sapling scattered about.

“Well there’s very minimum, there’s hardly any trees over here.”

That’s why Santo Gonzalez, who’s lived in the neighborhood for almost 3 decades, jumped at the opportunity to put a tree outside his home — the only tree on his side of the block.

“The city came and asked me and I said yes, put it right in there,” said Santo Gonzalez
of Sunset Park.

The root of the problem is that Sunset Park is a neighborhood with an industrial history, that’s split by the Gowanus Expressway.

So, Gonzalez says having the tree just makes the block look nicer.
And he wouldn’t mind turning up turning up green on Rentenna’s heat map.

“We see like an empty road, no trees.  We want it to look like Park Slope with a lot of trees.”

If that happens, Gonzalez says people looking to leave their neighborhoods and branch out to some place new would have to consider Sunset Park.