Past Event

Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda

February 25, 2013 - February 26, 2013

Location: Keck Center of the National Academies
500 Fifth St. NW Washington DC 20001

Workshop presentations, videos, and other materials are available here.

The National Academy of Sciences / National Research Council will organize a workshop to examine the following:

- current capabilities to characterize and quantify the benefits ("ecosystem services") provided by trees and forest canopy cover within a metropolitan area -- including air pollution mitigation; water pollution mitigation; carbon sequestration; urban heat island mitigation; reduced energy demand from shading of buildings. The discussions may also consider benefits to public health and well-being.

- key gaps in our understanding, and our ability to model, measure, and monitor such services; and improvements that may be needed to allow tree planting to be sanctioned as a 'creditable' strategy in official regulatory control programs (i.e. for air quality, water quality, climate change response).

- current capabilities for assigning quantitative economic value to these services, and strategies for improving these capabilities (in order, for instance, to allow for rigorous cost/benefit analyses, and for policies that compensate land owners for good forestry conservation and planting practices).

- the challenges of planning/managing urban forests in a manner that optimizes multiple ecosystem services simultaneously (e.g. synergies, trade-offs in selecting tree species, determining planting locations)

- opportunities for enhancing collaboration and coordination among federal agencies, academic researchers, and other stakeholders.

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Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event

Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research Agenda (2013)

There is growing interest in understanding and quantifying the many benefits that trees provide to the urban environment; for instance, helping mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon; lowering demand for air conditioning by shading buildings; reducing air pollution and urban heat island effects; and intercepting water runoff to help control stormwater overflow problems. Research shows that exposure to trees and green spaces i... More >>