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Tag: Urban Forestry

Greening tomorrow’s cities today

Uforest, a Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, aims to contribute to the development of entrepreneurial and innovation approaches within the sphere of urban forestry through developing diverse partnerships with universities, cities, businesses, public administrations, NGOs and local citizens. In so doing, the Project seeks to redefine the Urban Forestry sector through nurturing a culture of collaboration and cross-sector working to develop an Alliance of urban forestry stakeholders across Europe. Even though the project is coming to an end in December 2023, U-forest took very practical steps to promote green spaces in cities.

Uforest’s from knowledge to action approach

Part of the project were several educational activities, the preparation of technical guidance and diverse events programmes. Significantly though, Uforest transcends the theory, as clearly highlighted through the inauguration of its annual “European Urban Forest Week” which was held during the first week of December 2023; what better present could Santa and his elves bring than newly planted forests, in once sterile ground! 

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EFI hits the road – a “Busman’s Holiday” around British Columbia’s beleaguered forests

Anyone who works as a researcher with an environmental or forestry organisation like EFI will tell you that there’s no such thing as a “proper” holiday; indeed, sitting on the beach for 2 weeks sounds to me like the very epitome of sensory deprivation (and that’s even despite having a dodgy knee). By contrast, the idea of a road trip around British Columbia (BC) with my family this summer sounded like a veritable voyage of discovery. So, it was with enthusiasm (and a degree of trepidation) that we boarded a flight from Frankfurt bound for Vancouver with the aim of exploring parts of the Pacific NW in a campervan. Without a doubt, BC’s diverse forests would certainly influence a large part in our travel itinerary; both in positive and negative ways, as it turned out. There was much to learn on our journey. 

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25 years of EFUF – becoming part of the European urban forestry community

Have you ever asked a friend or relative what they particularly value about their hometown or a city that they have recently visited? Do you remember the answer? More often than not, people will quickly think about the local landscapes and greenspaces. Such memorable places include public parks, urban forests, waterfront walkways or just everyday streets with distinctive or historic trees… like the cherry blossom in Bonn, the city where I live right now. 

Indeed, urban greenspaces help to transform our cities into more welcoming, healthier, and more resilient places to live. People simply appreciate the natural areas around them in, sometimes hostile, urban environments. We can immediately recognise the popularity of such spaces through the images shared on social media.

This year, I had the wonderful opportunity to be part of the Urban Forestry team of the European Forest Institute. In the beginning, the concept of “urban” was quite a challenge for me, having been more familiarity with the “wilder” and larger forests of the Dolomites – pretty much the opposite of urban… however this urban forestry journey has brought a plethora of new experiences, ideas and food for thought.

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Unlocking the potential of urban forests

Developing a Local Urban Forestry Action Plan

Are you interested in gaining a quick overview of the huge potential that urban forestry offers to solve environmental, social, and economic challenges in cities? Do you want to learn how increasing the presence of trees and other vegetation in cities can contribute to urban resilience? EFI’s Urban Forestry Team members from the Resilience Programme in Bonn (Juliet Achieng Owuor, Ian Whitehead and Rik De Vreese) have recently been involved in editing and co-authoring a new publication, entitled “Unlocking the Potential of Urban Forests”, which has been the result of a huge effort of some of the world’s leading professionals and researchers in urban forestry.

The publication proposes an integrated vision for urban forestry which delivers multifunctional objectives through the involvement of diverse local stakeholders, whilst effectively responding to wide-ranging sustainability challenges and societal demands. These include the need to fight climate change, to retain biodiversity and to improve overall health and wellbeing of urban citizens through providing everyday opportunities for contact with nature. It proposes practical steps to achieve this vision, whilst considering the bigger picture of how urban forestry can be an effective tool to deliver key aspects of EU policy.

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Topic-specific thematic guidelines on urban forestry as a nature based solution (UF-NBS) – Opportunities for authors

The CLEARING HOUSE project addresses a global challenge that unites European and Chinese cities in their quest to develop more resilient cities and liveable societies in…

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„Grüne Infrastrukturen gemeinsam gestalten“: CLEARING HOUSE Workshop in Gelsenkirchen

Wissen Sie, was „grüne Infrastrukturen“ sind? Und welche Rolle sie in Städten spielen (sollten)? Was theoretisch und trocken klingt, sieht in der Praxis recht bunt aus: Parks und andere grüne Oasen in der Stadt gehören dazu, urban gardening-Projekte und Naturschutzgebiete. Ebenso die Linde vor unserer Tür und der Schmetterlingsflieder, der an der Autobahnauffahrt blüht.

Aber sind unsere Städte grün genug? Und profitieren alle Bürger*innen davon oder nur bestimmte Gruppen? Diskutieren Sie mit uns am 9. September 2021 im “Grünlabor” in Gelsenkirchen (Programm hier)!

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A tree awakening – join us in celebrating urban trees on 11 June

Three recently awarded ‘Tree Ci3ties of the World’; City of Ljubljana, Barcelona Metropolitan Area (AMB) and Brussels Capital Region are taking the lead on promoting the crucial role of urban trees towards greener and more resilient cities and urban regions. Urban trees and forests provide vital infrastructure for healthy and happy citizens, protecting and enhancing biodiversity and co-creating a climate-adapted built environment. The three cities and regions differ in character but have demonstrated a commitment to urban trees within the framework of urban forestry, green infrastructure and the enhancement of local ecosystem services. 

Calling it a ‘tree awakening’ and as a partner event of the EU Green Week, the  European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF), European Forest Institute (EFI) and CLEARING HOUSE project, bring together these three cities and regions to kick-off an activity – focus – celebration of trees on June 11, 10:30-12:30 CEST and to build and strengthen existing relationships at a continental level. The 2-hour interactive online event is targeted at practitioners, researchers, policymakers, journalists and citizens eager to explore ways to work together towards a greener and more resilient future in cities around Europe and beyond.

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Forests as critical infrastructure? Integrated Forest Management and recreation for forests and people – Virtual Excursion during the Urban Forestry Days 23-24 March

How to bring more than 600 policy planners, decision-makers, practitioners, researchers and urban forestry enthusiasts into the forest in times of social distancing? The first day of the Urban Forestry Days (23 – 24 March 2021) held a special highlight for the participants, who joined from over 68 countries all around the globe. The two-day collaborative event of integrated Urban Forestry activities was hosted by the European Forest Institute (EFI), the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) and the Horizon 2020 CLEARING HOUSE project.

“Public involvement and engagement bring valuable information to decision-making processes”,

Renate Späth

After a day packed with the latest urban forestry developments, insights on integrated forest management and lively discussions about the role of urban forests for co-creating more sustainable cities, a virtual excursion brought the participants right into Kottenforst. Located in the southwest of Bonn in North Rhine-Westphalia, the 4.000 hectares peri-urban forest area serves as a stage to enjoy nature, recreate, meet people and engage in discussions. A group of urban forestry experts accompanied the visual experience. While live-commenting the virtual excursion, they shed light on environmental education, microhabitats, marteloscopes and the importance of enabling and enhancing dialogue about forests and forest policy. As part of a Q&A session, facilitator Maria Schloßmacher (EFI) encouraged participants to share their thoughts and ask questions directly to the experts.

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