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Does higher-density city development leave urban forests out on a limb?

Joe Hurley and colleagues write in The Conversation (14.4.16) about the benefits of including green spaces – or so-called ‘urban forests’ – as a key element of city planning and development.

‘Greater recognition of the benefits of urban forests is focusing efforts from all levels of government to defend and improve them. Perhaps the most iconic of these efforts is New York City’s Million Trees Program. Other initiatives of note include the City of Melbourne’s and the City of Sydney’s.

‘Earlier this year, federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt declared: Green cities – cities with high levels of trees, foliage and green spaces – provide enormous benefits to their residents.

‘Hunt pledged to develop: … decade-by-decade goals out to 2050 for increased overall tree coverage.

‘But achieving green cities will need more than just canopy cover targets and central city strategies. In contested urban environments, it will require new approaches to urban planning and development.’

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