The Society for Urban Ecology (SURE)
International Workshop “Urban biodiversity versus functional design in cities?”

International Workshop “Urban biodiversity versus functional design in cities?”

Events 2016

The case of urban trees”, organized on behalf of IALE-D Zentrums für Landschaftsforschung (CeLaRe) and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) from 9th June to 10th June 2016 in the Department of Geography and Geology, University of Salzburg

Urban trees are key structural elements of green infrastructure in cities and the long-term value of their ecosystem services is a key objective of urban ecosystem management. The functional design of powerful urban nature seeks to optimize ecosystem services. Performant urban trees are integral parts of climate-adapted urban planning and development.

In practice, these normative models and prescriptions are facing several challenges. These range from the evidence-based tree species selection for urban spaces, on to the consideration of the ecological value of urban trees for biodiversity, and to the aesthetic demands of urban residents and questions of appreciation and acceptance of urban trees. The workshop offered 33 participants from six countries (Austria, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Romania) a platform for discussing these issues. Four keynote talks and eight short talks of senior scientists and early career scientists presented results of mainly empirical research. On the one hand, researchers focus on the interrelations between ecosystem services and ecophysiology of urban trees under climate change. O the other hand, many studies concentrate on cultural ecosystem services of urban trees and ecosystems. In sum, the talks spanned topics and research in forest science, forest growth and yield science, presented projects on databases for selections of city trees of the future, discussed the modeling of ecosystem services provided by urban trees and presented empirical studies of environmental psychology on the perception of urban trees and their importance for the city dwellers. A field trip completed the workshop program: A city tour on urban trees led by Magister Nowotny who has been surveying Salzburg city trees for 30 years now and who works for the provincial government of Salzburg took the workshop participants to the field for discussing tree care, novel species, tree control and protection in the urban context of Salzburg. On the second day, workshop talks and the discussion focused on future issues and open questions concerning the compatibility of climate change adapted urban tree management with biodiversity conservation in the city. This workshop organized on behalf of IALE-D Centre for Landscape Research (CeLaRe) and the Society for Urban Ecology (SURE) has thus provided a platform for state-of-the-art scientific exchange on these issues and has given much space to the dialogue between research and practice.

Angela Hof and Jürgen Breuste

See the programme with the abstracts

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