Urban Forestry Days (23 – 24 March 2021)
Two days of diverse and exciting integrated urban forestry activities brought together researchers, practitioners and policymakers from around Europe and beyond to explore the role of urban forests for a transition towards sustainable cities and to discuss linkages between urban green, health and well-being. 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. 750 unique participants from over 68 different countries joined the conference online to explore the latest developments in urban forestry.
Day 1 – Integrated Urban Forest Management – hosted by the European Forest Institute
During day one, interactive discussions shed light on integrated urban forest management and experts gave valuable interdisciplinary insights about the importance of urban forests for the transition towards more sustainable cities. The afternoon took participants on a virtual fieldtrip to the Kottenforst, the peri-urban forest of Bonn. Find an overview of the topics presented here:
Keynote session 1: The urban area and sustainability transition
- Cities and Sustainable Transitions: making space for nature-based solutions – Harriet Bulkeley (Durham University)
- Bio-cities for a resilient future: research gaps and action – Jerylee Wilkes-Allemann (Bern University of Applied Sciences) & Giuseppe Scarascia-Mugnozza (University of Tuscia)
- Why and how can we create circular biocities – Vicente Guallart (IAAC)
Keynote session 2: Urban forestry and the pillars of sustainability
- Brave New World – on the pathways for global urban forestry – Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch (NBS Institute) & Tahia Devisscher (University of British Columbia)
- Where do urban forests go? Aspects of Climate change and its impacts on shape, diversity and usage of urban forests in Europe – Dagmar Haase (HU Berlin)
- Urban forests for societies – Rik De Vreese (European Forest Institute) & Dennis Roitsch (European Forest Institute)
- Growing the Future: Wood in Buildings – Michael Ramage (University of Cambridge)
Read more about the linkages between urban forestry and sustainability transition.
The importance of urban forests for sustainable cities
Panel discussion with leading representatives from Brussels/ Belgium (Stéphane Vanwijnsberghe, head of subdivision Forest & Nature, Brussels Environment); Barcelona/ Spain (Antoni Farrero, Technical Management Office at the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona); Guangzhou City/ China (Juan Su, Associate Professor, Chief Engineer, Bureau of Forestry and Landscaping of Guangzhou Municipality); Joensuu/ Finland (Sami Lakkonen, Strategy Manager, City of Joensuu); Milan/ Italy (Pierfrancesco Maran, Councillor for Urban Planning, Green and Agriculture, City of Milan) and São Paulo/ Brazil (Rodrigo Ravena, Chief of Staff of the Green and Environment Secretariat)
Virtual fieldtrip in the afternoon: “Forests as critical infrastructure? Integrated Forest Management and recreation for forests and people”.
Stay tuned for upcoming blogposts and our virtual excursion to the Kottenforst forest that will soon be available on YouTube.
Day 2 – Urban Forests as Health Infrastructure – hosted by the CLEARING HOUSE project
Day two welcomed the international audience with a rich programme themed on urban forests and health infrastructure. Keynote speakers outlined what medical science is telling us about forests as health infrastructure, followed by a thematic workshop on ‘forests and urban greenspaces in pandemic times‘. One of the highlights was to see the launch of EFUF 2021; a decentralised networking programme running from March to May 2021 with many diverse events. Also, the brand- new myEFUF app has been launched during the second conference day. Available in five languages, you can download it directly from the App Store or Google Play.
Session 1: What does the Public Health Science tell us on forests as health infrastructure
- The effect of forest environment on human health in Changbai Mountain – Peige Du (Beihua University)
- Urban nature and its health relevance – Matthias Braubach (WHO European Centre for Environment and Health)
- Nature and Public Health: Mechanisms and scientific evidence – Matilda van den Bosch (IS GLOBAL)
Session 2: Forests and urban green spaces in pandemic times
- Managing our forests to strengthen their public health outcomes – Liisa Tyrvainen (Natural Resources Institute Finland)
- Changes in urban forest use and attitudes towards urban forest during the COVID-19 lockdown – Nic da Schio (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) and Jakob Derks (European Forest Institute)
- Urban parks amidst COVID pandemic – Wendy Chen (University of Hong Kong)
Session 3: Launch of the European Forum on Urban Forestry Semester #EFUF2021
- The Swiss initiative for launching the myEFUF app – Clémence Dirac (Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland) and Bianca Baerlocher (Urban Green Polylogue)
- Pete Stringer (Manchester City of Trees): presenting the upcoming conference “Urban Forestry for a resilient future” (4-6 May 2021)
Registrations are open via Eventbrite.
Glimpsing through the trees- Round of introductions to projects on urban green space, trees, human health and well-being
- Green4Care (Annebel Soer, European Forest Institute); GoGreenRoutes (Tadhg MacIntyre, Maynooth University); ENABLE (Erik Andersson, Stockholm University Resilience Centre); Dr. Forest (Michael Scherer-Lorenzen, Freiburg University); International Forest Therapy Days; Forest baths and resilience paths (Katriina Kilpi, Nature Minded); NetworkNature (Bettina Wilk, ICLEI)
Video Poster Session. Research and Practice and Perspectives on Integrated Forest Management and Urban Forestry – Contributions by young researchers and practitioners
Young researchers and practitioners from around the globe shared their research – from street tree pits to Peruvian ecosystem landscapes and LIDAR data – see the contributions in one playlist here, get the full insight in our blogpost about the session or dive into it one by one:
- Exploring the cooling effect of trees in street canyons – Amelie Claessens, IUCN Urban Alliance, University of Antwerp, Belgium
- Urban residents’ knowledge and interest of green infrastructure development in residential landscapes – Annie Yuan, University of Toronto, Canada
- Wellbeing Of The Woods: Using creativity in woodlands to enhance mental health amongst diverse groups – Becky Duncan, Open Aye C.I.C, Scotland
- The role of multidisciplinary integration in achieving resilient tree pits in hard landscapes – Dean Bell, Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments, University of the West of England
- Improving methods to calculate the loss of ecosystem services provided by urban trees using LiDAR and aerial orthophotos – Karolina Zięba-Kulawik, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland
- LIFE Urbangreen, a new approach to urban green area management – Paolo Viskanic, R3GIS Ltd
- Use of bi-temporal ALS point clouds for tree removal detection on private property – Patrycja Przewoźna, Department of Geoinformation, Faculty of Geographical and Geological Sciences, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
- Urban cultural values identified in the forest certification process – Ramona-Elena Scriban, University Ștefan cel Mare of Suceava, Romania
- Lomas Ecosystems Landscape – Sally Torres Mallma, Universidad Ricardo Palma, Peru
The Urban Forestry Days 2021 were facilitated by EFI Bonn and a great collaboration between EFI, CLEARING HOUSE, EFUF, BMEL, Wald&Holz, IUCN and Metropolis, with the support of all the presenters and many others. Stay tuned for more information on the conference, such as the virtual fieldtrip to Kottenforst that will soon be available on YouTube as well as various blogposts upcoming on the Resilience Blog, the CLEARING HOUSE blog and the efuf.org website!
-The CLEARING HOUSE project has received funding from the European H2020 Research and Innovation programme under the Grant Agreement n° 821242.-