Urban forestry includes garden and farm trees, street trees, trees in parks and open spaces; woodlands, trees and woodlands along rivers and trees in farmland (agro-forestry). Urban forests can improve the quality of urban life and livelihood in many ways, providing both tangible (e.g. food, energy, timber, fodder) and less tangible environmental and societal benefits and services, like its contribution to urban greening, nature conservation and biodiversity management, improvement of the urban microclimate (less dust, more shade, lower temperatures), provision of opportunities for recreation, maintenance of buffer zones and protection of urban water resources.
Challenges to urban forest development in developing countries - and elsewhere - are:
- little technology transfer, research and information exchange;
- inadequate appreciation of the economic value of the urban forest and low comprehensive valuation of multipurpose urban forestry;
- insufficient local participation and private-public partnerships;
- inappropriate land use policies (access and security of user rights to urban forest);
- ecological and technical constraints of the urban environment;
- sustaining funds for urban forests, and, above all,
- integration of forestry into urban planning and development. And above all: need to strengthen the role of urban forestry in poverty alleviation.
For an extensive introduction and review of literature on this subject please go to State of the Art. This paper provides a review of the current status of urban forestry research and development, policy-making, implementation and education across the globe, showing that advances have been made in developing urban forestry in response to the call for innovative, comprehensive concepts that promote the multiple benefits of urban green space. The contributions of forests, trees and other urban green areas to the quality of urban life and the urban environment are discussed and existing good practices in urban (agro-)forestry and other types of comprehensive green-space planning and management are reviewed
Go to RUAF publications for an overview of RUAF publications on this topic (most of which are available online). You may also view the articles in the Urban Agriculture Magazine on this topic or use the Search option.
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