Urban Forestry: Toward an Ecosystem Services Research AgendaBoard on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate
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.
Workshop Summaries Resulting from this Event
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 >>