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This project aims to meet the demand for knowledge and practical tools to improve the planning and governance of urban green spaces. Researchers from many disciplines, including ecologists, geographers and social scientists are working together with practitioners such as planners, arboriculturists, and parks managers to provide new knowledge on the linkages between urban green infrastructure and important societal goals such as health and well-being, community cohesion, climate change adaptation and the green economy.
There are 6 research focused work packages in this project each with separate but linked objectives. Forest Research is contributing expertise and management support across the following:
WP7. Urban Learning Labs. Forest Research leads on delivery. The objective is to identify urban green space stakeholders and organize regular workshops to engage in knowledge exchange that builds and tests new methods of building urban green infrastructure and the promotion of biocultural diversity.
For example, in Scotland, the ULL is using Forest Research expertise to explore how insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies are influenced by the proportion of trees, shrubs and grass within domestic gardens in the city, and what this means for steps to support biodiversity.
WP6. Innovative governance of urban green space. Forest Research assists Wageningnen University with delivery. The objective is to identifying innovative methods of involving communities and private individuals in aspects of urban green space management.
Forest Research has investigated community woodland management, urban agriculture, citizen science and Neighbourhood Planning in Edinburgh and Bristol.
WP2. Assessment of biocultural diversity. Forest Research provided expertise to examine how the socio-cultural background of users influences urban green space preferences.
WP3. Functional Linkages. Forest Research used spatial mapping and analysis techniques to explore relationships between urban green space, biodiversity, biocultural diversity, human health and social cohesion, including synergies, trade-offs and spatial conflicts.
WP5. Green infrastructure planning. Forest Research has supported research looking at social inclusion and social cohesion in relation to urban planning systems.
The results coming through from the different work packages are captured in a range of different resources. Key messages from:
WP7. Urban Learning Labs
WP6. Innovative governance
The full collection of research papers, policy briefs, fact sheets, project reports, handbooks and practice guides can be accessed through the Products page of the Green Surge website .
Start date: November 2013
End date: November 2017
This research is funded by EU Seventh Framework Programme. The project consortium includes 24 partners from 11 European countries.
Forestry Commission policy
Devolved forestry policy is widely committed to urban forestry and maintaining a resilient urban canopy. In Scotland there is specific support for maintaining urban green networks. Policy is set out in the following documents: