August 20, 2009
The physical framework of a community is called its infrastructure, and can be divided into two types: green and gray. Gray infrastructure refers to areas of buildings, roads, utilities, and parking lots; green infrastructure includes areas covered with trees, shrubs, and grass. A community can measure the size, shape, and location of its green infrastructure and accurately calculate the public utility functions these areas perform, although cities are only just starting to value green infrastructure for more than its beauty. For local public policymakers responsible for decisions affecting urbanization, the problem is not solely about getting the city or a developer to plant more trees, but rather one of balancing gray and green infrastructure.
‘Planning’ Your Way to the Best Urban Forest Resource List
Jim Schwab, American Planning Association (Chicago, IL)
The American Planning Association has released a state-of-the-art best practices manual about how urban and community forestry can best be integrated into long-range and current municipal planning activities in the U.S. This Planning Advisory Service report includes forestry case studies and a literature review. The primary audience for the manual is urban planners working for municipalities or working as consultants to municipalities, planning commissioners and planning board members, city and town managers, city and town public works, engineering, and parks department managers, municipal arborists and urban foresters, and developers and those in the design professions serving them.
Cheryl Kollin, VP for Urban Ecosystems, American Forests (Washington, DC)
American Forests has analyzed tree cover and documented changes in more than a dozen metropolitan areas. Over the last 15 years, naturally forested areas of the country east of the Mississippi River and in the Pacific Northwest have lost 25 percent of their canopy cover while impervious surfaces increased about 20 percent. Theses changes have ecological and economic impacts on air and water systems. Communities can offset the ecological impact of land development by utilizing the urban forest’s natural capacity to mitigate environmental impacts. While both gray and green infrastructure are important in a city, communities that foster green infrastructure wherever possible are more livable, produce fewer pollutants, and are more cost-effective to operate.
Webcast attendees will learn:
* Why tree canopy in many U.S. metropolitan areas is declining.
* Rationale and economics of adopting a green infrastructure approach to planning.
* Guidance on the principles and practice of sound urban and community forestry to a broad set of professional and lay public officials at the local level.
* Strengthen the relationship between urban planners, urban foresters, water quality and stormwater managers, and professional arboriculturists.
* How to exchange knowledge between urban and community forestry partners and urban planners, including allied professions such as landscape architecture and the environmental community.
About the Third Thursday Webcast Series
The Third Thursday Webcast Series is the Alliance for Community Trees’ monthly webcast series held at the lunch hour and made possible through support from The Home Depot Foundation and USDA Forest Service. The goal is to create informal training opportunities for local urban and community forestry organizations. The content is geared to mainly serve the needs of volunteer organizations and community groups, although webcasts are open to all.
The trainings leverage local successes by amplifying to a larger audience the model organizations’ methods, materials, and approaches. Sessions are planned to last no more than one hour, with two presenters speaking on the same topic from slightly different perspectives, each for 10-15 minutes, followed by 10-15 minutes of questions and answers.
CEU Approved: 1 Hour
CFE Category 1 Approved: 1 Hour