Urban forestry approaches urban greenspace from the perspective (one of) the city’s core ‘hardwares’: its tree-based resources. The broadly accepted definition of urban forestry, based on Miller is ‘the art, science and technology of managing trees and forest resources in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic and aesthetic benefits trees provide society’. As such, the breadth of impact of the urban forest necessarily positions it within multiple knowledge realms: the earth and life sciences, the humanities, social sciences, and design and engineering.
Fellowship Urban Forestry TU Delft
The national association for greenspace professionals in the Netherlands (VHG) advocates for urban forestry in realms of governance, praxis and research in the Netherlands as part of a broader strategy to support and develop the ‘engine room’ of greenspace planning, design, construction and management. Their advocacy for urban forestry is in particular driven by the decline in research and development on and around wood-based resources in recent decades and the lack of attention for urban forestry at a university level. The VHG has chosen to focus attention on design and engineering and has set up a collaboration with TU Delft to initiate a more fundamental embedding of urban forestry in the built environment disciplines. This initiative dovetails with the focus of research and education at the Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment (A+BE): understanding, ordering and acting in cities and territories.
The embedding of this position within A+BE frames the initiative within the spatial and building design disciplines, focussing on planning aspects at various scales, as well as on the level of design and realization of urban landscapes themselves. To this end the initiative has been nested within the disciplinary lens of (urban) landscape architecture in the section landscape architecture, which currently forms one of four sections in the department of urbanism at the faculty. The collaboration initiates an expansion of attention for Urban Forestry through the establishment of a research fellow(ship). The goal is to deepen and broaden knowledge, awareness and activity is this field at a (technical) University level. The section centres around the chair of landscape architecture, which is responsible for education in the master track landscape architecture, as well as its own research projects in the area of Landscape Compositions & Systems. A parallel initiative for a research fellow urban ecology is planned to start in September 2019.