Urban trees and greenspace in a changing climate
Research to understand the contribution that urban trees make with respect to: the resilience of current and planned urban tree stocks to climate change, their role in regulating temperatures, and water management in urban areas
Forestry Commission Policy
Climate change represents a significant threat to urban infrastructure, environmental quality and the health of city dwellers. Green infrastructure is itself at risk through greater extremes in temperature fluctuation, consequent flourishing of tree pests and diseases, drought and perceived increased risk of subsidence leading to tree removal.
There is no clear system for determining the biophysical interactions, benefits, or managing potential trade-offs within a risk-benefit context, so as to optimally support the protection and sustainable regeneration of UK towns and cities. The Urban Trees and Greenspace in a Changing Climate Programme intends to develop such a system through consolidating and building upon existing work to provide the evidence base for urban trees, definition and communication of best practice guidance, and robust assessment, evaluation and dissemination tools. This will enable society, policy makers and planners to more fully assess the risks and benefits of urban trees.
The Programme also maintains the Centre of Excellence which Forest Research has developed over several decades on land regeneration practices to establish and maintain urban greenspaces on former brownfield and contaminated sites.