Urban forests are full of energy; they are vibrant places where multiple recreational activities, social encounters and mental restoration take place. As such, the German Sport University of Cologne has been selected as the venue of the 22nd European Forum on Urban Forestry (EFUF 2019) – the perfect location to explore energetic interactions between forests and people.
During 22-24 May, researchers and urban forest professionals are welcome to share interdisciplinary knowledge and best practices within the field of urban forest management, policy, planning and decision making. Science and practice will connect through a combination of indoor talks, outdoor excursions and socializing activities. The following topics will be dynamically discussed:
- The Healthy Forest: sports, wellbeing and human health.
- The Spiritual Forest: culture, religion and art.
- The Learning Forest: research, laboratories and education.
- The Co-designed Forest: diverging interests, governance and urban forest management.
Outdoor excursions will be directed towards the understanding of the historical development of urban forestry in Cologne. Both the Inner and Outer Green Belts of the city will be actively explored through alternative hiking, running and biking tours. Participants will also visit the Forest Laboratory of Cologne (Waldlabor Köln) and mingle with attendants of the International Waldlabor Student Workshop; a hands-in workshop where students will practice their arboriculture techniques within the experimental opportunities of the venue. Energising debates and energetic forest activities will meet in an inspiring environment. Other outdoor activities include a visit to the Wahner Heide, one of the largest nature reserves in close proximity to Cologne, and Gut Leidenhausen, a historic manor hosting a forest school.
EFUF 2019 will include and integrate key messages from the 1st World Forum on Urban Forests (WFUF Mantova, 2018), and provide a follow-up ground for future activities. Being a EU Green Week partner event, EFUF 2019 will also discuss best practices and challenges regarding implementation of urban forestry projects. Hopefully, such dialogues may lead to future shifts in local or regional environmental legislation while embedding urban forests as a part of urban sustainability agendas.