Rapid European urbanization and climate change pose some of the greatest challenges our societies have ever faced. In Europe, the trends tell us that by 2050, 84% of its population will live in urban areas and human-induced emissions leading to climate change will increasingly damage human health and negatively impact our safety. To address these challenges, we focus on promoting and innovating urban forests as crucial contributors to greener, healthier and more resilient and liveable cities. Urban Forests (UF) are tree-based urban ecosystems and effective Nature-based Solutions (NbS) that help to better adapt and mitigate the negative effects of climate change. UF improve air and water quality, support biodiversity, enhance people’s health and wellbeing, and mitigate the high temperatures of modern cities.
For these reasons, and to meet their current changing and future needs, many cities across the globe are setting challenging urban reforestation targets. However, cities struggle with such targets due to their high related costs, the need for long-term citizen engagement and capacity of existing institutions to implement urban forestry solutions. Indeed, as defined by FAO urban forestry needs integrated, interdisciplinary and participatory approaches to planning and management of trees in urban areas, in order to support their economic, environmental and social benefits. Urban planning, forestry, arboriculture, and related fields have failed to provide interdisciplinary training and engage and support innovative public-private urban forestry initiatives and trends. On the other hand, the demand for urban forestry practitioners who can provide the urban forestry solutions will continue to grow with urbanization, climate change, and community needs.
Uforest (full name “European Alliance on Interdisciplinary Learning and Business Innovation for Urban Forests Project) is a three-year Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The project will create a cross-sectoral alliance that will bring together universities, businesses and public administrations of often non-collaborative disciplines such as urban planning and architecture, with forestry and urban ecology, as well as with socio-economic and information and communication technologies (ICT). The alliance will be the basis for the development of new training and support to students and practitioners working towards innovative urban forestry projects.
Uforest’s project will do so by:
the flow of knowledge among universities, local authorities, and businesses.
a new and multidisciplinary training course on urban forestry.
innovative and cost-effective urban forestry solutions and business ideas.
Uforest (Urban Forest) is a three-year Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission structured into the following Working Packages, led by a partner responsible for the activities. In the following diagram the responsible partner is indicated in capital letters within each WP.
Coordination and Management
Quality and Monitoring Plan
Research and Assessment
Development of Training Programs and Materials
Training and Innovation Programme
Alliance and Fundraising Strategy
Communication and Dissemination
Quality and Management Evaluation