Planning for Urban and Community Forestry

The American Planning Association, in close collaboration with the International
Society of Arboriculture
(ISA) and American
(AF), will prepare 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.

The Problem of Declining Urban Forests

Urban forests provide enormous environmental benefits — among them
improving air and water quality and slowing stormwater runoff. Yet, tree canopy
in many U.S. metropolitan areas has declined significantly over the last few
decades. The national organization American Forests has analyzed tree cover
in more than a dozen metropolitan areas and documented changes. 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. More:

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