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Urban forestry policy-making: A comparative study of selected cities in Europe

Urban forestry policy-making: A comparative study of selected cities in Europe

Arboricultural Journal 23(1): 1-15

Forest ecosystems in urban environments are of increasing importance in Europe's urbanising society, especially when placed in its social and environmental context. However, traditionally forestry science and practice have focused on rural settings. It is only recently that various European-wide scientific and other initiatives have been established to study the role of urban forests and other urban green spaces, their use, management and planning. An example of this is a comparative study of forest policy-making and planning in 16 European cities. In this article, some of the main comparative results of this study are presented. It is demonstrated that planning and management of forests in an urban environment differ structurally from more traditional woodland management. Although biophysical, socio-economic, cultural and political differences cause urban forestry to differ between the cities, countries and European regions studied, some general trends and common challenges can be distinguished. These include the growing complexity of urban forestry policy-making and planning, the increasing role of public participation and conflict management, and a transition towards closer-to-nature forest management.

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