The four Uforest’s

The four Uforest’s

Uforest, a Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission, aims to contribute to the development of entrepreneurial and innovation approaches within the sphere of urban forestry through developing diverse partnerships with universities, cities, businesses, public administrations, NGOs and local citizens. In so doing, the Project seeks to redefine the Urban Forestry sector through nurturing a culture of collaboration and cross-sector working to develop an Alliance of urban forestry stakeholders across Europe.

Does it perhaps remind you of something?
Following the conclusion of the Uforest project, the diverse partners are eager to secure Uforest’s legacy by fostering an enduring partnership with the European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF), which has cherished similar aspirations and desires for years concerning the urban forestry sector in Europe.

The European Urban Forestry Week

Promoted by Uforest, this “green week” aimed to raise awareness on the environmental, social and health benefits that urban green areas can provide for present and for future generations.
The week program unfolded with local planting events taking place across four different European cities: Barcelona, Brasov, Dublin and Milan, resulting in four new urban forests, which were established in collaboration with WOW nature platform.

Each newly planted urban forest is designed to address the specific needs of the different localities and the aspirations of the local communities concerned. 

1) Barcelona: Climatic refugia – for heat mitigation and shadow while promoting biodiversity conservation and reasonable use of water.

2) Brasov: Smart-Tech forest – installation of meteorological, pedological and spectral sensors to monitor environmental variables

3) Dublin: the Darndale donut – to provide a green space for recreational and educational activities while provide shelter and enhance an existing fishpond

4) Milan: Tiny forests – transform an unmanaged green space by two tiny forests (Miyawaki method), maximising the available space and enhancing the use of different species.

If you want to know more, please visit the dedicated webpage:

Photo credits: Uforest – plantation day in Dublin (Ireland)


Do you want to contribute in these initiatives?

If you want to adopt a tree for the Darndale Donut in Ireland:

If with your company/business want to support the Tiny Forests in Italy:

FAO publication: A global perspective of Urban Forests

FAO publication: A global perspective of Urban Forests

“Urban forestry is not a one-size-fits-all solution; each city and region, with its own unique set of challenges and opportunities, requires tailored strategies”

In its new publication that want to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of urban forestry worldwide, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) emphasizes the natural variety found in environmental, cultural and socioeconomic contexts around urban forests. Specifically, it presents compelling reasons why various urban forestry methods may not universally apply due to the diverse range of pressures, environmental situations, cultural influences, and governance systems worldwide. Urban forests, trees and green spaces play an important role in enhancing the quality of urban life, but their benefits are still not equally accessible to all. Consequently, the report is segmented into region-specific viewpoints that discuss the circumstances in different continents. These distinct perspectives lead to unique approaches and tactics for urban forestry initiatives and nature-based solutions.

The report was launched at the 2nd World Forum on Urban Forests in Washington DC and it advises on the necessity for action to achieve global goals, especially due to the escalating challenges posed by climate change in urban areas.

European Urban Forests

The perspective from Europe was provided by Clive Davies, Rik De Vreese, Ian Whitehead and Mariateresa Montisci, from the Urban Forestry Team of the European Forestry Institute (EFI) located in Bonn.
Over the last 40 years, Urban Forestry (UF) has significantly grown across Europe, tracing its roots back to centuries-old peri-urban forest management or in the creation of botanical gardens in the middle of the city.

Nowadays, even with some exceptions, municipalities evince an increasingly conspicuous dedication towards reconciling urban expansion with the imperative for high-quality green spaces. Achieving such harmonization necessitates the embrace of innovative methodologies and novel strategies for project implementation.
EFUF serves as a prominent benchmark, accumulating extensive experience in organising the Forum that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise within the realm of urban forestry among different stakeholders such as managers, researchers, practitioners, consultants and representative from groups (e.g. lobbyists, envNGOs, volunteers groups, associations etc.)

The diverse geography and culture of Europe influence the various challenges and approaches embraced in urban forestry practices and governance. Therefore, it was deemed necessary to divide Europe into sub-regions, following the key themes:

  • Nordic/Scandinavia: Health equalities, integration, adaptive management.
  • Northwest Europe: Mosaic governance, partnerships, stakeholder engagement, environmental education.
  • Mediterranean: Urban heat island impacts, urban cooling, fire hazards.
  • Central Europe: Levels of participation, inadequate policy linkage, climate change/species adaptation.
  • Southeast Europe: Rural urban migration and lack of integrated policies.

Taking into consideration this vast geographical and thematic diversity, the incorporation of case studies from disparate regions shows how some cities and regions are investing in nature-based solutions to enhance the welfare of their communities. The journey is still long and uphill because urban forests are still seen as a lesser priority and their implementation still faces a lot of barriers but we need to be optimistic that things may unfold in the best possible manner!

Curious about the report? Download it now and delve into the insight shaping urban forests around the world! 



Visitor frequencies and attitudes towards urban forests and their management, before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. A mixed methods case study in Bonn, Germany.

Visitor frequencies and attitudes towards urban forests and their management, before and during the COVID-19 lockdown. A mixed methods case study in Bonn, Germany.

Photo credits: Harri Beau – German Wikipedia

Urban forests play a crucial role for the wellbeing of city dwellers, and their importance for people has been emphasised during the COVID-19 pandemic. This exploratory study analyses the visit patterns and visitor attitudes and perceptions in a peri-urban forest nearby Bonn, Germany, as well as the impact of the lockdown. Methodically, we combined automated visitor counting with a total of 345 on-site interviews. Respondents were asked a variety of open-ended and closed questions on various aspects of forest management and recreation. The results show that shortly after the inception of the lockdown the number of forest visitors doubled and the visit pattern changed markedly. In contrast, people’s associations with the forest remained rather stable. The forest visitors interviewed primarily associated the forest with tranquility, recreation and fresh air, and they were generally positive about forest management. However, these expectations conflicted with the sense of crowdedness experienced during the lockdown, when novel forest uses and new motivations for visiting the forest arose, with an important focus on the forest as a place for social interaction. These were mainly a result of the lockdown restrictions, rather than COVID-19 itself, which left people with more time and flexibility, and less alternative activities. The results highlight the importance of forest management in catering to people’s expectations and ultimately for the role that forests play for people’s wellbeing. This was the case before the lockdown but arguably even more so during, in response to a variety of needs resulting from unprecedented circumstances.

Link to the article:

Call for abstracts EFUF2023

Call for abstracts EFUF2023

The overall theme for EFUF 2023 is Urban Forests as Nature-based Solutions

The organisers of the 25th European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF) invites urban forest practitioners, policy makers, researchers and managers to submit abstracts for the Forum. This includes, but is not limited to, applied as well as academic research, perspectives and experience of professionals and practitioners working in policy making, planning, management, engagement of civil society amongst many others. EFUF emphasises the connection of practice and scientific knowledge, encouraging a variety of possible formats to contribute to the conference.

We accept oral talks, presentations, posters and other non-commercial contributions. Abstracts (maximum 2500 characters, spaces included) are only accepted in English language. The proposal should be relevant to one of the three themes of the conference.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 20 February 2023 9:00 am CET (Brussels time).

Abstract Topics

Contributions to the 25th European Forum on Urban Forestry will explore these aspects.

Theme 1: Urban Forests and Urban Greening Plans

Exploring the challenges of planning for existing tree-based urban green space, and for planning new urban forests, including citizens’ views and perceptions, and maximising services provided by urban forests.

Theme 2: Urban Forests, Urban Trees and Water

Exploring the role that urban forests and urban trees can play in managing water in and around cities and towns (water buffering, reducing floods, limiting water pollution), including the impact of droughts on tree-based ecosystems.

Theme 3: Biotic Management aspects in Urban Forestry

Exploring impact of pests and diseases, and the role of adaptive management to limit these impacts.

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is now closed.

The programme committee will determine whether a proposal will be accepted for presentation, considering the significance and/or the innovative character of the contribution. Authors will normally be informed of the acceptance or otherwise of their contribution by the 20th of March 2023. The decision of the programme committee is final, and correspondence will not be entered.

At least one of the authors should register for the conference and should have their fee settled by 30 April 2023.

The language of the forum is English.

For any questions related to the abstract submission process, please contact rik . devreese @ efi . int.