Urban forests are a complex system full of opportunity for study, innovation, and cross-disciplinary collaboration. This piece introduces key concepts, techniques, and challenges of urban forestry.
Realizing the ecosystem services benefits of tree programs depends on tree survival. Despite the focus on planting over the past few decades, overall canopy cover levels in major US cities have been declining.
The urban forest can’t pretend to be ‘natural’; it’s a construction that relies on both ecological processes as well as human ingenuity to survive. It marries the technical with the material, and expands the range of social experience and ecological resilience.
We envisage an entirely different city, one in which massive trees are no longer a rarity but instead fundamentally define and shape our movement through the urban fabric. With this action on the civic imagination, the city becomes a forest, and the forest a city.
Featured Issue04: Building the Urban Forest
The forest carries deep cultural significance. Within the urban landscape, this ecologically complex system is also understood to perform a wide range of essential ecosystem services, from increasing property values to mitigating climate change. Reforesting cities is one of the defining trends of twenty first century urbanism, but there is little agreement about how our urban forests are to be designed, planned and managed.
Featured ProjectUrban Regeneration: Foresting Vacancy In Philadelphia
Urban Regeneration proposes a land management strategy for vacant urban land that accumulates parcels and turns them to forest, aiming to redefine the meaning and function of vacancy in a city.