Green and Grey Infrastructure: The Contribution of Urban and Peri-urban Forests to Sustainable Cities

11869553525_1c56a8121d_cPlease join us in globally promoting the contribution of urban and peri-urban forestry to a green and sustainable future. A World Forestry Congress Urban Forestry side event will take place from 12:45 to 14:15 on 10 September, 2015 in Hall 5/6.

The development and management of the urban and peri-urban forests can play a key role in ensuring the provision of a number of services that are vital for the livelihood and health of the urban and peri-urban communities. In order to maximize these services, however, it is essential that the urban and peri-urban forests are fully integrated into city planning. In fact, the interaction between the grey, blue and green elements of a city is the key to reshape or build urban areas better equipped to face the increasing global challenges.

Well-designed and well-managed green infrastructure (trees, shrubs, and grass in parks, forests, gardens, streets, traffic islands) can significantly contribute to the quality of the urban environment and provide a wide range of benefits including watershed management and disaster risk prevention, climate change adaptation and mitigation, air quality improvement, human health benefits, food and fuel supply, jobs and income generation and biodiversity conservation. Urban and peri-urban forests – including all trees, forests, natural green spaces and agro-forestry systems in and around urban settlements – are the backbone of the green infrastructure bridging rural and urban areas.

The objectives of this side event are to:

  1. discuss the role of urban and peri-urban forests in the development of sustainable cities;
  2. contribute to an increased understanding of the goods and services that urban forests can provide through concrete examples from different counties and regions; and
  3. prepare for the global dialogue that will take place during Habitat III (2016).

Invited speakers and panelists include Dr Cheng Wang (Professor, Urban Forest Research Center of State Forestry  Administration, Chinese Academy of Forestry), Ms Susan Braatz (Senior Forestry Officer, FAO), Mr Fabio Salbitano (Associate Professor, University of Florence, Italy), Dr Phillip Rodbell (Urban Forestry Specialist, United States Forest Service), Mr Errol Douwes (EThekwini Municipality of Durban, South Africa), Mr Zhi Ye (Chinese Academy of Forestry), Mr Giovanni Sanesi (Professor, University of Bari, Italy), and Mr Octavio Carrasquilla (Banco de desarrollo de América Latina).

Blogpost by Simone Borelli and Yujuan Chen (Forestry Department, FAO) – Simone.Borelli(at)fao.org, Yujuan.Chen(at)fao.org
Pictures courtesy – Barney Bishop

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