A new COST Action (FP 1204) on Green Infrastructure was recently launched:
“Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests”
The Action will allow to carry out conferences, workshops, training schools, researchers-exchange, scientific and technical publications aimed to increase the understanding of the role of urban forests and green spaces in the context of Green Infrastructure.
On 14 February in Brussels within COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology, one of the longest-running European frameworks supporting cooperation among scientists and Researchers across Europe) the Action FP1204 was launched: “Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests”.
32 European countries participate in this Action plus United States of America, Canada, Algeria, Armenia as external non-COST countries. FAO is also joining the initiative.
The Action which will last for 4 years will allow to carry out several initiatives including conferences, workshops, training schools, researchers-exchange, scientific and technical publications with the main aim to increase the understanding of the role of urban forests (UF) and green spaces in the context of Green Infrastructure (GI), especially focusing on services provided to people and to the urban environment. Trees, parks, urban and peri-urban woods (green spaces categories included within Urban Forest) can mitigate temperature, decrease pollution, water run-off and soil erosion, increase aesthetics and quality of places, provide a place for recreation, education and learning. Trees can also contribute by direct and indirect ways to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere and contrast “Global warming”.
In brief, trees in our cities considerably improve quality of life, increasing health and well-being of the people.
Targets of the action are: 1) to increase the knowledge from a scientific and a socio-economic perspective 2) to identify priorities and challenges for future research in the field, and 3) to provide indicators and/or thresholds to be included by policy makers at local, national or international regulations about GI and Urban Forests, 4) to develop guidelines for GI planners and managers on how to Implement GI approaches with an emphasis on maximizing the environmental and social services of UF. All the targets are in the interest of Landscape Ecology.
The COST Action will be based on four Working Groups (WG): 1) Environmental services of GI and UF and implications of climate change; 2) Social/cultural services of GI and UF; 3) Governance of UF in a GI approach; 4) Integration and Dissemination to stakeholders
A first meeting of the WGs will be in Milano May 7, 2013. Website