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Trees in Canadian Cities: Indispensable Life Form for Urban Sustainability

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-05-24, 20:49 authored by Peter N. Duinker, Camilo Ordóñez, James W. N. Steenberg, Kyle H. Miller, Sydney A. Toni, Sophie A. Nitoslawski
We argue that a healthy urban forest contributes immensely to the sustainability of cities. The argument is based on a comprehensive array of values elicited from Canadians in several cities. To begin, we define the urban forest as inclusive of all the trees in the city and thus representing the predominant contributor to a city’s green infrastructure. Then we enumerate and explain the broad diversity of ways in which urban people value trees in the city. We, thus, show the myriad pathways by which trees contribute positively to any city’s social, economic, and ecological sustainability. Following a short summary of the ways in which trees may detract from people’s quality of life, we present promising management directions for urban-forest improvement, as we understand the situation in Canada. We conclude that all cities can enhance their sustainability by improving the urban forest.