In anticipation of the European Forum on Urban Forestry 2017 in Barcelona, a core group of EFUFers have been discussing the state of Urban Forestry in Europe. It seems that Urban Forestry has been too underrepresented and disconnected in Europe. While the European Forum on Urban Forestry has hosted annual Forums for the past 19 years, that’s not enough to fill the void that the rest of the year leaves. Given the growing prominence of Urban Forestry in dealing with urban quality-of-life and climate change issues, the core group suggested to increase the presence of EFUF through a web-driven Urban Forest network, connecting the diverse disciplines that Urban Forest planning, design and management embraces.
In order to determine the direction that such a web presence should take and to find out more about the future role of EFUF, a short questionnaire was created to assess the ideas of professionals, who have an interest in Urban Forestry. The questionnaire was sent out in January and closed in March 2017. It was sent to 677 professionals from Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Northern and Southern America. The survey registered 276 visits (41%); 170 people responded completely (response-rate of 25%). 82% of the respondents are actually working in Europe.
- 38% of the respondents are female; 48% have a master degree. 45% are working in science and research. 25% of the respondents consider their professional experience as “early career”; 72% indicate “Urban Forestry” as their thematic focus. 44% of the respondents didn’t attend a forum yet; 61% intend to attend a future forum.
- 72% of the respondents think, the forum should be held annually. Sharing of knowledge and exchange between science and practice are considered very important. The respondents wish a sort of continuous organisation with a board, a secretary and an attractive web-presence. Working groups are also considered as very important.
- The benefits of a membership approach are considered in providing contacts and good examples and in early access to new knowledge. 60% are willing to pay a yearly fee for such an association of at least 40 Euro.
The survey showed a big interest in future forums as well in an EFUF-organisation that assures a continuous presence in the web and provides the members with information on a regular basis.
Building on the conclusions of the survey, the core group will present a roadmap at the Barcelona EFUF.
For further details: see the survey report.