Urban and peri-urban forestry

English: Chicago City Hall Green Roof

English: Chicago City Hall Green Roof (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Green Vision for Our Cities

At the dawn of the third millennium, the global population shifted to being mainly urban and the trend is set to continue. Unfortunately, and too often, this situation produced highly damaging effects on forests, landscape, as well as other tree and green systems in and around cities. For the most, rapid expansion of cities has taken place without any real land use planning strategy in place to support such growth. Another issue that cities face is the absence of effective platforms for dialogue, which would give urban dwellers the opportunity to define a common vision with national governments, local authorities and civil society.

A forested city which grows in harmony with its ecosystem becomes a resilient city in term of mitigation and adaptation to climate changes. An urban watershed with adequate tree cover helps prevent landslides and floods. Trees mitigate the impact of strong winds, and reduce damage to road and building infrastructure. Trees slow the wind and provide shade reducing costs of air conditioning and heating. Wood residues are widely used as wood energy for heating and local electricity production. The decreased “heat island effect” prevents detrimental impact on wellbeing, health and death of very vulnerable people. Scientific studies have demonstrated these positive values.

More Information: www.fao.org


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