Rethinking cities for a greener and healthier future
For the first time in human history, there are more people living in cities than in rural areas. Today, 55% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and this number is expected to increase to 68% by 2050. At the same time, urban areas consume two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions. This rapid global urbanisation can represent a big threat, both for humans and the environment. It is therefore necessary to rethink the way we plan and design our cities and find new ways to make them more sustainable. While this may be one of our biggest challenges, it is also a great opportunity to transform our societies and economies towards a new paradigm.
Against this background, urban forests can be key allies for the transition to more resilient and healthier cities. For example, they can help mitigate the urban heat island effect and the management of stormwater runoffs, reducing the need for energy and new infrastructures. At the same time, urban forests support human health in multiple ways, from providing clean air to promoting social cohesion and communities’ wellbeing.
On the 6th of October, in the context of EFI 2022 Annual Conference, we had the official international launch of Uforest. During the scientific seminar “Biocities: placing nature and people at the centre of the urban environment”, we explored the potential of trees, forests, and wood for the promotion of greener, healthier and more resilient cities. In addition, we had the opportunity to introduce the Uforest Alliance and present the many activities taking place in the next few months.
- 09:30 | Opening
- 10:00 – 11:00 | The Nature of Cities and how Nature can transform them: a science perspective
- 11:30 – 13:30 | Creating cities in symbiosis with Nature: Biocities
- 13:30 – 15:00 | Lunch break
- 15:00 – 16:30 | Knowledge to Action initiatives: building synergies