The urban forest in Dutch cities faces multiple challenges in the coming years. Beyond the continuing problems of maintaining tree-based resources in cities in the face of competing spatial and infrastructural demands, problematic growing conditions, concerns about buildings, property values and safety, and limited planting and maintenance budgets, emerging challenges in areas of densification, climate adaptation, (urban) ecology and biodiversity, health & well-being and energy transition are expected to significantly impact on the urban forest in the Netherlands in the future. A preliminary assessment of the current body of knowledge on urban forestry in the Netherlands indicates that it is insufficiently elaborated to deal with these developments in a proactive way, such that it is unlikely that the full potential of trees and woodlands will be realized. Indeed, serious concerns can be raised about the endurance of the urban forest in the medium to long term.
The third focus of the fellowship is thus the preparation of a comprehensive and structured assessment of challenges, the current body of knowledge, skills and technologies at hand, and the gaps in the knowledge base to be filled in coming years. This agenda is intended to cover the full breadth of the field of urban forestry, from arboriculture & silviculture to planning & policy, design, construction, and management & maintenance. To this end collaboration is sought with other knowledge institutions, government agencies and professionals bodies.