Trees, People, and the Built Environment
April 2nd and 3rd, 2014

If you follow us on Twitter, you might have heard that we’re headline sponsors of this year’s Trees, People, and the Built Environment conference in Birmingham, UK (April 2 – 3, 2014). This conference, which is hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters and was last hosted in 2011, seeks to gather professionals in different roles within the greenspace and environmental sectors for presentations on current research about the intersection of trees, people, and communities.

Urban trees and woodlands are now essential elements of our green infrastructure through the vital roles they play in promoting liveable and sustainable towns and cities. We know that the urban forest has numerous environmental, economic and social benefits, and that it can contribute enormously to the health and welfare of all those who live and work in urban areas.

– Conference programme

This is right where we belong, so we’re very happy to be involved at this level. There is also a small exhibition hall as part of the conference, where we will have a stand. When we’re not at the stand, here are some of the talks we’re most excited about attending.

Wednesday, April 2

11:05 // Million Trees Los Angeles: Evaluating success and failure of the initiative during the early years
Dr Greg McPherson, USDA Forest Service, USA
*Greg McPherson is an eminent researcher on urban forests, and Million Tree Initiatives are a hotly debated topic for us.

11:35 // Invest from the Ground Up! Economics of trees and retail environments
Dr Kathleen Wolf, University of Washington, USA
*Kathleen Wolf has published extensively on the positive economic impact that trees have on retail environments, from small businesses to apartment rentals. 

13:55 (1:55pm) // How Useful are Urban Trees: The Lessons of the Manchester Research Project
Prof Roland Ennos, University of Hull, UK
*Roland Ennos recently published a study that examined how urban trees grew in different treatments in a study in Manchester; his results showed that trees in large, open volumes of loam perform best. This talk looks like it will discuss that study in more detail.

14:15 (2:15pm) // Determining Tree Growth in the Urban Forest
Kenton Rogers, University of Cumbria, UK

16:55 (4:55pm) // Researching the issues to deliver multiple benefits:  developing Trees in Hard Landscapes, a Guide for Delivery
Anne Jaluzot, Green Infrastructure Planning
*Sue James, with the Trees and Design Action Group, wrote a blog post for us on this same document just last week! We are looking forward to hearing about Anne’s experience researching and compiling this document.

Thursday, April 3

13:30 (1:30pm) // Focus on Municipalities
Introduction & Chair: Richard Edwards, Trees & Woodlands Officer, Croydon Council and Vice Chairman of the London Tree Officers Association, UK
*Some of the most ambitious policies around urban trees are happening at the municipal level; this panel is a great opportunity to hear more about the specifics and to share success stories and lessons learned. 

13:35 (1:35pm) // An i-Tree Eco Analysis of the Chicago Regional Urban Forest: Implications for the future
Dr Gary Watson, The Morton Arboretum, USA
*The Morton Arboretum is a leading research institution and Gary Watson is at the head of it. Chicago, which is known for being a tree-friendly city, will be looked to as a model for best practices for urban trees in the United States.

To read more about the conference, including the programme of events and speakers, click here. To find studies of Silva Cell projects near you, click here.

Top image Flickr credit of the grounds of St. Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham: brianac37

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