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Updated September 10, 2022

Urban Forest Parks

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Urban Forest Parks essay
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The term urban forest refers not only to urban forest parks or road side greeneries. But it is all about publicly and privately owned trees within an urban area including individual trees along streets and in backyards, as well as stands of remnant forest (Nowak et al. 2001).

In well designed and managed cities and small towns, urban forests are an integral part of community ecosystems, whose numerous elements (such as people, animals, buildings, infrastructure, water, and air) interact to each other and obviously affect the quality of urban life.

The key to define urban forests is defining urban land and its features. The term “urban” refers to areas with relatively high amounts of people and artificial surfaces. The artificial surfaces sustain if and only peoples protect the natural resources that can have direct and indirect impacts on these artificial surfaces and on the peoples themselves.

According to Lewis explanation (Lewis 1991) “Urban forestry encompasses all the typical activities involving trees which occur principally, but not exclusively in urban areas. In its broad term it involves the management of an entire urban tree population.”

Generally urbanization brings within it a wide range of challenges in to our world. Now a days the demand for urban land increases on one hand, and the energy, resource, water and waste disposal needs on the other hand is mandatory for urban populations need to be met.

This is true especially in the developing world, where most mega-cities are located and urbanization is particularly rapid and not necessarily controlled, providing good living conditions to urban populations is one of the main challenges of our time (UN Habitat, 2004). From this, policymakers are facing tremendous pressures to develop city management strategies that strive for sustainable cities where all inhabitants can enjoy at least a fair quality of life and a reasonably healthy environment.

In most cities urban green spaces with trees as a major component play an important role by improving livelihoods, tempering harsh urban climates, conserving biodiversity, and contributing to better human health. Recently, integrative and strategic concepts and fields of activity have been developed and implemented across the globe to promote and develop tree-based resources catering to multiple urban demands. Urban forestry is one such promising concept, which in recent years has gained the capacity to cater to a wide range of urban needs and realities. (Urban Forestry for Multifunctional Urban Land Use, Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch on 30 July 2015)

In most of the developing countries urban environments are characterized by air and water pollution, settlement in fragile ecosystems, and loss of water catchments and floodplain surface areas and this is why urban forest development efforts are necessarily needed to keep the quality of the environment in urban landscapes. (Trees-people-and-the-buit-environment_Shikur.pdf)

The best thing is that in most urban areas of the world communities are coming to understand the importance of natural processes and ecosystems in cities as the source of solutions for urban challenges, and the urban forest is a key element. Because they can observe currently how urbanization pressures threaten both on ecology and biodiversity as well as human wellness and quality of life in our world.

Urban planning and design principles of the past are evolving to meet challenges and demands posed by both human and natural systems changes, often happening rapidly. As a result the functions and benefits of natural systems within cities are becoming increasingly recognized as being essential, not just nice to have. Traditional, predominantly gray infrastructure is being replaced by innovative, exploratory combinations of gray and green systems.

The solutions offered by urban forestry and ecosystems do not limited only to specific natural spaces in cities, such as parks, gardens, and open spaces. In fact, recent research suggests that the presence of urban green contributes to solutions of some of the most important concerns of cities, such as air and water quality, transportation planning, human health, crime, high heat events and climate change, and community resilience. (Wolf, K.L. (editor). 2015. Ten-Year Urban Forestry Action Plan: Research Needs 2016-2026.)

Urban forests improve the quality of urban life in various ways, providing tangible (food, energy, timber, fodder) and social benefits (health, employment) to meet local needs as well as important environmental services. Urban forestry is particularly important for the urban poor (Kuchelmeister 2000), as they generally bear the greatest burden of urban environmental risks.

In recognition of the importance of urban forests, many municipalities together with diverse stakeholders around the world have established urban forestry programs. Pioneering urban forestry partnerships have evolved, involving committed citizens and community-based organizations, adopting vulnerable groups as partners and clients, incorporating public-private partnerships and/or city partnerships, and fostering decentralized responsibilities. Nowadays, many cities use innovative financing mechanisms, for instance tax and legal incentives, green marketing, corporate donations, carbon sequestration projects for funding urban forestry activities (Kuchelmeister 2000).

Ethiopian urban areas are endowed with a variety of forest cover constituted mainly with exotic and few native species. The urban (and pre-urban) forests do not have management guidelines, infrastructure and recreational facilities to satisfy the growing demand for the recreational and educational needs of the society. Implementation of the urban forest development action program will be executed by developing management guidelines, establishing recreational facilities and infrastructures, and developing recreational programs.

In Ethiopia, if urban forest has got due attention, forest cover can be maintained while timber harvesting can help to meet the growing demand for fuel wood and wood products for construction and furniture. First, however, there is a need to hold a public discussion on the desired role and objective of urban forest management in the country. Therefore, the urban forest guidelines must be developed in a participatory manner so as to recognize the values and priorities of Ethiopia’s urban population. (National Forest Sector Development Program, Ethiopia Volume II: Program Pillars, Action Areas and Targets December 2016)

The National Forest Sector Development Program (NFSDP) has been fully aligned with the Government of Ethiopia’s existing national targets and contributes to achieving Ethiopia’s international commitments. Ethiopia has developed a Climate-Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy that aims to build a climate-resilient green economy and to make the country carbon neutral while attaining middle-income status by 2025. The CRGE strategy identifies the forest sector as one of the key pillars for the attainment of the CRGE vision.

A core element of this CRGE vision is sustainable landscape management, given the recognition that land use is the largest source of GHG emissions (88%)5, and interventions in the land use sector contribute to social and environmental objectives such as food security, watershed and biodiversity protection.

The CRGE is also integrated into the Second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2), which aims to develop the country through industrialization, investment in value adding and processing. The NFSDP serves as the umbrella framework for translating the CRGE and GTP 2 objectives into the actionable measures required to achieve these national objectives.
In terms of international commitments, the NFSDP contributes to achieving Ethiopia’s Nationally Determined Contribution to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change Paris Agreement (FDRE, 2015). Ethiopia has committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 255 million tons CO2e per year by 2030, 130 million tons of which are to come from the forestry sector.

The NFSDP would allow the forestry sector to more than meet this goal, mitigating nearly 160 million tons CO2e per year by 2030. The international commitments Ethiopia has made under the Bonn Challenge and reconfirmed under the UN Summit in New York in 2014 have also been integrated into the NFSDP. In this context, Ethiopia has committed to restoring 15 million hectares of forest landscapes by 2030 in addition to carrying out afforestation and reforestation and sustainable management of forests and woodlands on 7 million hectares in the next 10 years.

Achieving all of the targets of the NFSDP would result in a large contribution to climate change mitigation and Ethiopia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), sequestering more than 1 billion tons of CO2e. Moreover, the NFSDP contributes to the country’s commitment to UNCCD Land Degradation Neutrality target and CBD Aichi Nagoya target to increase the coverage of protected areas to 17%.

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Urban Forest Parks. (2020, Sep 27). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/urban-forest-parks/

FAQ

What is the largest urban forest in the US?
The Great Trinity Forest is a forested urban park located on the southern outskirts of the heavily urbanized area of southern Dallas, Texas, and it is recognized as the largest urban forest in the United States.
What is the meaning of urban forest?
An urban forest encompasses the trees and shrubs in an urban area, 1 including trees in yards, along streets and utility corridors, in protected areas, and in watersheds . 5 . This includes individual trees, street trees, green spaces with trees, and even the associated vegetation 2 and the soil beneath the trees.
Where is the largest urban forest?
Established in 1961, the sprawling Tijuca National Park is – arguably – the world's largest urban forest. Some might argue that Johannesburg in South Africa is home to the world's largest man-made wooded area, but it's actually Rio de Janeiro that takes the title.
Which city has the best urban forest in the world?
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil —The Tijuca National Park, established in 1961, is possibly the world's largest urban forest. The Tijuca Forest comprises 3,953 hectares of reclaimed land that was previously cleared for coffee and coal production.
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