Benefits and uses of urban forests and trees

Liisa Tyrväinen, Stephan Pauleit, Klaus Seeland, Sjerp De Vries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

357 Scopus citations


Trees and forests are, because of seasonal changes and their size, shape, and color, the most prominent elements of urban nature. Their benefits and uses range from intangible psychological and aesthetic benefits to amelioration of urban climate and mitigation of air pollution. Historically the main benefits of urban trees and forests relate to health, aesthetic and recreational benefits in industrialized cities. Moreover, green areas have provided people with subsistence by providing food, fodder, fuel, wood and timber for construction (see Chap. 2). Today, woodland, woods and trees are important to people especially through symbolizing personal, local, community and cultural meanings. They provide aesthetic enjoyment and create a pleasant environment for different outdoor activities. Woodland can provide an experience of nature in the middle of urban life. In particular, old woodland with big trees may provide urban people with the opportunity to recover from daily stress, revive memories and regain confidence. There is also an important educational value of urban forests. Contact with trees, in particular for children, can help people learn about nature and natural processes in an otherwise artificial environment. Urban trees and woodland also contribute to an attractive green townscape and thus communicate the image of a positive, nature-oriented city. Indirectly, urban trees and forests can promote tourism and enhance economic development. At the local level trees contribute to the quality of housing and working environments and their benefits are reflected in property values. The same urban woodland areas and trees may have multiple benefits that reinforce each other. Recreational woodland, for example, also reduces wind speed and traffic noise as well as improves the landscape in a nearby residential area. To a certain extent the distinction between different categories of benefits is artificial. However benefits have their own special features and therefore can be presented separately (Table 4.1).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Forests and Trees
Subtitle of host publicationA Reference Book
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages34
ISBN (Print)354025126X, 9783540251262
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Benefits and uses of urban forests and trees'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this