Ajay Patel

Health, Wealth & Trees

Eye-Opening Infographics


Because Torontonians live and breathe inside the city, they don't often have the opportunity to examine tree cover and its relationship with residents and their health. 


Toronto Public Health estimated that 1,700 Toronto residents die prematurely each year due to air pollution (ground-level ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide, particulate matter and sulphates). Another 6,000 Toronto residents are admitted to hospitals due to air pollution. By 2014, premature deaths declined to an estimated at 1,300, but as still remains an issue and concern for growth as more housing and commercial buildings are replacing the little trees we have left.


My aim for this project was to design information visualization with an emphasis on statistical and relational modes of data using trees/urban forestry in Toronto as the foundational theme.

Deep and extensive research went into finding viable and engaging connections between trees and the people around it. Ultimately, I found an eye-opening relationship between tree cover, low income families, and asthma prevalence.

Colour plays a crucial role in telling a story in this poster, where yellow represents health/asthma prevalence, green represents tree cover, red represents money/income, and blue represents population density of various Toronto neighbourhoods.

The radar graph illustrates that Toronto neighbourhoods with less tree cover has a higher asthma prevalence rate. Additionally, these are generally low-income areas that don't have the means for air filtration and insulation technologies.Although it’s vibrant and diverse city, Toronto, much like other metropolitan cities, suffers from health–wealth inequality. What many haven’t noticed is these themes’ relationship to trees and trees’ great impact on air quality.