Held in December 2018 in Mantova, Italy, the inaugural World Forum on Urban Forests has moved forward by launching an eight-point Call to Action. The Call to Action aims to maximise the benefits of global urban greenery, create healthier and happier cities, and mitigate the impacts of climate change on the world’s cities.

The Call for Action promotes a vision where urban and peri-urban forests, trees and other green infrastructure will be acknowledged as critical infrastructure and used as a tool for achieving sustainable development goals.

The Forum put forward the following set of eight forest solutions to make cities greener, cooler, healthier and safer.

  1. Expanding canopy cover in cities and “using the right tree in the right place”;
  2. Promoting community gardens, urban agriculture and urban flood forests;
  3. Increasing the number of green buildings and vertical forests and encouraging installation of green roofs
  4. Converting neglected areas, courtyards and brownfields into green spaces;
  5. Developing political agendas that promote green spaces and urban forests;
  6. Using existing technical guidelines to plan, design and manage urban forests and trees;
  7. Creating and promoting green jobs and economic opportunities; and
  8. Monitoring the ‘heat island effect’ in cities to support strategic planning or urban forests.

The World Forum on Urban Forests was attended by government representatives, urban planners, arborists, landscape designers, architects, academics and other forestry experts. It discussed global greening strategies, long-term collaboration opportunities, and identified sustainable solutions for a greener future.

Over 600 participants from around the world, including over 150 speakers, shared positive examples of urban forest design, planning and management, illustrating the role of forests and green spaces in creating more resilient and sustainable cities.

For more information on the World Forum for Urban Forests, visit www.wfuf2018.com.