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.