In New York City, curb appeal is not just about a property’s facade or front yard. The entire block plays into your impression of a particular home on the market, and most house hunters would agree that the most pleasant blocks have lots of street trees.
The presence of street trees may seem somewhat trivial, but in our increasingly hot and rainy climate, they are an important resource providing shade, absorbing storm water runoff and cooling the air. Scientific studies have found that urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your health.
Home listings platform Localize.city includes an analysis of street trees in its “tranquil streets” search filter, which also takes into account factors such as building heights, number of car lanes, population density, a wide variety of nuisances like noise and more. If your ideal is to buy or rent a home on a leafy, quiet street without a lot of car traffic or skyscrapers, Localize.city’s “tranquil streets” search filter can help you find the best match for you. (You can add other parameters like price, commute and more.)
“Street trees not only offer us a respite from the midday sun and make the sidewalks more beautiful, but their presence has proven to be good for our health,” says Dan Levine, an Urban Planner at Localize.city. “New York City has lots of homes on tree-lined blocks. At Localize.city, we help New Yorkers find these homes by providing a filter for ‘tranquil streets’ that directs home hunters to the listings on leafy, quiet blocks.”
Localize.city’s “tranquil streets” search filter helps you find the homes on leafy blocks, like a $399,000 studio in Park Slope at 376 Bergen St., or a Ditmas Park four-bedroom Victorian for $1.649 million at 270 Westminster Rd., or a five-story townhouse at 11 St. Luke’s Pl. in the West Village for $28.75 million.
For this report Localize.city looked at the neighborhoods with the most and fewest street trees per square mile. The study only considered trees planted on the sidewalk and maintained by the city. It did not include trees growing in front yards or in parks or forested areas.
Top 10 Neighborhoods with most street trees per square mile, and median home listing price in that neighborhood
Cobble Hill, Brooklyn : 5783 trees per sq mile : $1.799M
Floral Park, Queens : 5703 trees per sq mile : $764,500
Park Slope, Brooklyn : 5197 trees per sq mile : $1.275M
West Village, Manhattan : 5102 trees per sq mile : $1.785M
Upper East Side, Manhattan : 5056 trees per sq mile : $1.7M
Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn : 5012 trees per sq mile : $2.25M
Boerum Hill, Brooklyn : 4991 trees per sq mile : $1.65M
Gramercy, Manhattan : 4687 trees per sq mile : $1.64M
Ditmas Park, Brooklyn : 4507 trees per sq mile : $580,000
Upper West Side, Manhattan : 4502 trees per sq mile : $1.785M
Half of the neighborhoods on the top 10 citywide are in Brooklyn, and most are in the upscale part of the borough known as Brownstone Brooklyn: Cobble Hill, Park Slope, Carroll Gardens and Brooklyn Heights. These neighborhoods were joined by the suburban-like Ditmas Park, known for its grand Victorian mansions.
The suburban-like Queens neighborhood of Floral Park, which is practically part of Long Island, occupied the No. 2 spot. (In fact, part of the neighborhood is considered Long Island.)
The West Village, which is iconic for its tree-lined charming streets, ranked highest among Manhattan neighborhoods for its street trees, followed by the stately Upper East and West sides. These neighborhoods benefit from having a lot of street trees as well as being near leafy parks, such as Central, Riverside (UWS) or Carl Schurz (UES).
It’s interesting to note that the most and least expensive neighborhoods in the top 10 were in Brooklyn: Carroll Gardens (highest) and Ditmas Park (lowest). But that doesn’t mean the West Village is a relative bargain compared to Carroll Gardens; rather the West Village has more studios and one-bedrooms on the market than its leafy counterpart in Brooklyn, and those smaller units brought the median price down.
No neighborhoods in the Bronx cracked the top 10. The No. 1 Bronx neighborhood for street trees was Temont, which ranked 20th overall. That was followed by Longwood (No. 22) and Fordham (No. 35). There are, of course, very leafy sections of the Bronx, like Riverdale, and Staten Island (much of the island). But trees in these areas are likely not on sidewalks maintained by the city and therefore not included in Localize.city’s analysis.
A note about Staten Island
Staten Island was excluded from the analysis. While the borough had the most neighborhoods with fewest street trees, Staten Island is not lacking greenery. Trees on front lawns are common, making it a leafy place.
Five neighborhoods ranking lowest for street trees per square mile
Willets Point, Queens : 231 trees per sq mile
Navy Yard, Brooklyn : 241 trees per sq mile
Garment District, Manhattan : 327 trees per sq mile
Little Italy, Manhattan : 875 trees per sq mile
East Williamsburg, Brooklyn : 879 trees per sq mile
Industrial neighborhoods, perhaps unsurprisingly, topped the list. These types of areas, like Willets Point and Navy Yard, which are not residential, tend to have few streets. Industrial areas also tend to have a lot of truck traffic and large expanses of unshaded, concrete-heavy areas that hold heat and boost local temperatures. The median listing price in the Garment District is $999,000 and in East Williamsburg it is $1.03 Million, meaning it’s cheaper to land in leafy Floral Park or Ditmas Park than either of these two tree-starved neighborhoods.
A closer look at what’s happening in each borough
Brooklyn’s top 10 for street trees
Bronx top 10 for street trees
Manhattan top 10 for street trees
Battery Park City
Queens top 10 for street trees