What are the main challenges faced by the urban forestry sector in Europe?

According to the United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs, by 2050 68% of the world's population is expected to live in urban areas. This rapid urbanisation brings many challenges, both for humans and the environment, requiring the adoption of innovative solutions. Today, more and more experts are pointing to a simple yet extremely effective answer: nature.

Urban forests and natural areas provide many benefits. They are key allies in the fight against climate change, providing clean air, mitigating the urban heat island effect, managing stormwater, and much more. They are also important for urban dwellers' health: today, a growing body of literature is highlighting the positive impacts of nature on health and wellbeing. For example, nature provides a space for physical activity and social interaction. In this sense, besides improving the quality of life in cities, nature can also reduce infrastructure and healthcare costs.

While the benefits and especially the need of urban forests are being increasingly recognised, the road to the realisation of such projects is often full of bumps and obstacles. The "Blueprint for Innovation in Urban Forestry" produced by Uforest provides a comprehensive overview of the main challenges faced by the European urban forestry sector. Uforest is a project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The project created a cross-sectoral alliance for the development of new training and support for students and professionals working towards innovative urban forestry projects. During the last few months, the Uforest team produced 20 case studies on innovative urban forestry initiatives around Europe. The aim was to better understand the current framework in which urban forestry projects are implemented and how innovation grows. Through literature review and case studies analyses, the "Blueprint for Innovation in Urban Forestry" identifies 7 main challenges.

Find out more information here: Download the full Blueprint for Innovation in urban foresty and learn more!

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