Urban forestry is the care and management of urban forests for the purpose of improving the urban environment, where trees are considered an important part of urban infrastructure.
Roles and responsibilities include:
1. Plant and maintain trees
2. Support appropriate tree and forest preservation
3. Conduct research
4. Promote the benefits that trees provide
The people responsible for urban forestry include municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, municipal and commercial aborists and city planners, as well as educators, researchers, consultants and community activists.
Urban forestry setbacks:
1. Poor growing conditions: unless you’re planting in a fertile area that is exposed to a lot of sunshine, it can be difficult to really grow green areas in grey ones.
2. Loss of green spaces: whenever a new building, parking lot, or housing development needs to go up the first thing to usually go are green areas.
3. Uneducated residents: if people don’t understand the benefits of having green areas in their city it will be difficult to motivate them to care. Education is the first step towards progress.
Implementing a strategy:
Management goals should be set based on the attitudes, perceptions and knowledge of the people living or working in the area in question. They should of course, also take into consideration the available space and budget.
If community members don’t seem keen, then a degree of education will need to happen before anything else can begin. Some key points you might mention are:
-Urban forests improve air quality and biodiversity and absorb rainwater.
-Social and medical benefits: poor urban areas usually lack green space.
Green areas can also offset the stress of city life, renew energy and improve health issues long-term.
-Green areas are great for schools. Studies have indicated that children who spend lots of time outdoors improve in their reading, writing, social skills, math skills and more.
-Add beauty to a community. Developing green spaces can really open up a community and make it a beautiful place to spend time in. Moreover, by having shared space that is clean, green and attractive, community members can get to know each other, put on social events and spend more time outdoors.
There are many benefits to urban forestry, but like anything, people need to be on board. Depending on the community and accessible budget, that might mean some arm twisting is required. With the right planning and execution however, almost anything is possible.