Urban forests represent an efficient solution to two of the most concerning trends of our time: urbanisation and climate change. However, their implementation presents a challenge, mostly related to their interdisciplinary nature and the multitude of stakeholders involved in this type of projects. Today, there is an urgent need for more specific training on urban forestry, covering environmental, governance, communication, and urban planning concepts.
Uforest is a partnership of universities, organisations, businesses, and public bodies from different European countries. The aim of the Uforest is to develop new training opportunities, and support students and practitioners in the promotion of innovative urban forestry projects. In this regard, understanding the training needs of this sector is a key starting point.
In 2021 the Uforest team conducted a survey on the stakeholders involved in urban forestry, as well as their training needs – the so-called “Uforest Stakeholder Analysis and Training Needs’ Assessment (TNA)”. The main targets were university students, professionals, and citizens from different countries.
Which topics are considered relevant for professional careers in urban forestry? According to the report, respondents mainly selected nature-based solutions (46%), biodiversity conservation (39%), and urban forest and green space planning (30%). On the other hand, interviewees expressed training needs mostly related to transversal concepts, and in particular management techniques, urban design and architecture, and cutting-edge technologies, such as mapping tools. In addition, particular interest was expressed in relation to urban food forests and related services. These results underline the interdisciplinary nature of the urban forestry sector.
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Description of the project
Uforest (full name “European Alliance on Interdisciplinary Learning and Business Innovation for Urban Forests Project”) is a three-year Knowledge Alliance project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. The project is promoted by the ERSAF, Politecnico di Milano, Etifor, EFI, Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona, CREAF, Agresta, Transilvania University of Brasov, Forest Design, Trinity College Dublin, Nature Based Solutions Insitute, Green City Watch.