Urbanisation and climate change are two of the most difficult challenges our societies have ever faced. According to the United Nation Department for Economic and Social Affairs, 68% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. This rapid urbanisation brings many environmental, economic, and societal challenges, requiring the adoption of innovative solutions. Against this background, more and more experts are pointing to a simple yet extremely effective answer: nature.
Urban Forests represents an effective tool to better adapt and mitigate the negative effects of climate change and urbanisation. If trees can provide us with many ecological, climatic, social, and health benefits, Urban Forests allow us to amplify them even further. Urban Forests can create dynamic ecosystems that provide better air quality, reduce urban heat, enhance climate resilience, and strengthen social cohesion.
Today, many cities around the world are trying to implement urban forestry projects to address the environmental challenges they are faced with. However, too often there is a lack of capacity and knowledge about specific issues involved in urban forestry. If on one hand the demand for urban forestry professionals is increasing, on the other there are no specific learning opportunities that can grasp the interdisciplinarity of the subject.
With the aim to fill this gap, the Uforest project has created the free online course “Nature in the city: turning knowledge into urban forestry practice”. The course aims to provide basic knowledge about urban forestry and the different disciplines involved in it, from urban design and ecology to technology and community engagement. Participants will have the possibility to learn with some of the major international experts in the field, such as Cecil Konijnendijk (Nature Based Solutions Institute), Nadina Galle (Green City Watch), Maria Chiara Pastore (Politecnico di Milano), Joan Pino (Autonomous University of Barcelona). Besides lectures, these experts will illustrate real case studies to offer a practical overview of the main challenges and strengths of Urban Forests.
In addition, students will have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge even further by completing the Uforest Programme. Beside the “Nature in the city” online course, the Programme foresees an additional online course (Greening your city: develop your urban forestry project) and one intensive in-presence training (Innovation Programme). By completing the Uforest Programme, students will gain specific knowledge and skills to help them develop effective urban forestry solutions for the green transition of cities.
These learning opportunities are designed by Uforest in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano, one of the projects’ partners and a globally renowned university specialised in innovation and research.