Urban forest resources in European cities

Stephan Pauleit, Nerys Jones, Signe Nyhuus, Janez Pirnat, Fabio Salbitano

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

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

In order to protect, manage and develop urban forests, it is essential to know their condition and understand the challenges they face. This chapter aims to give a broad overview of the state of the urban forest resource in Europe's towns and cities in order to identify both common and particular features and challenges. For this purpose, the urban forest will be defined broadly as comprising all the trees and woods within an urban area (see Chap. 1). The characterization of the urban forest and the assessment of its condition in European cities and towns is a challenging task, as few data exist or have been published. A comprehensive European inventory of the urban forest resource is not currently available. For this book chapter, data on the whole green-space resource, and more specifically, on urban woodlands was obtained from a few existing surveys of selected cities and towns (Gälzer 1987; EEA 1999a,b; Konijnendijk 1999; Pauleit et al. 2002). Therefore, case studies have been chosen with which the authors are familiar through their own work in order to characterize the urban forest in more detail for a range of large urban areas. The case studies chosen are Oslo (Norway), the Black Country, north of Birmingham (United Kingdom), Munich (Germany), Ljubljana (Slovenia) and Florence (Italy). These case studies represent a geographical crosssection from Scandinavia (Oslo) to southern Europe (Florence). They also comprise different urban situations, with an economically booming city region (Munich), an urban area undergoing a process of economic restructuring (Black Country), a city in a transition economy (Ljubljana) and a prospering city in the south with a famous historical heritage (Florence). Parameters such as woodland cover and their age and species composition serve as indicators of urban forest provision, structure and quality. Where available, further information is used to assess the health status of the urban forest. Each case study highlights some of the major impacts on urban forests, such as the loss and fragmentation of ancient woodland through urbanization, as well as the threat to street trees. The conclusions of the chapter include general as well as particular challenges for the sustainable preservation and development of European urban forests.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUrban Forests and Trees
Subtitle of host publicationA Reference Book
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Pages49-80
Number of pages32
ISBN (Print)354025126X, 9783540251262
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

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