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Urban Forests, Forest Urbanisms & Global Warming International Conference – Announcements – E-Flux

During the current climate emergency, there has been increasing focus on the role of forests, trees, and associated vegetation in urban areas—places where most of us live, work, learn, and play.

Urban forests play a role in the mitigation of global warming by, for example, sequestering carbon and reducing energy costs. However, their key contributions relate to the adaptation of urban areas. The necessity to develop urban forestry goes hand-in-hand with the continual need to transform urban building typologies (a key assignment for forest urbanism)—to reduce carbon emissions and respond to new ways of inhabiting cities. The overarching challenge of how to accommodate more urban populations with the simultaneous development of more urban nature demands radical rethinking of paradigms. Settling with and within forests occurred for millennia and still does in different parts of the world. The contemporary challenge is to envision a robust forest urbanism that redefines ways of living and stewardship of the environment, considering the ecological as well as the social side of this challenge, hence the dual term forest urbanism and urban forestry.

Planning/planting, designing, and managing resilient urban forests and forest urbanisms that contribute to global warming mitigation and adaptation requires interdisciplinary collaboration.

Central questions to be addressed include: What do we know about the mitigation and adaptation benefits of urban forestry? How can the climate benefits of urban forests be optimized through governance, planning, design, and management? What integrative and innovative approaches can be developed, for example, in collaboration between (urban) forestry, urbanism, (landscape) architecture, ecology, sociology and other fields? What do the green and climate-resilient cities of the future look like, how are they actually made? How can large-scale tree planting and afforestation be embedded in sustainable and socially inclusive urban forestry programs? Which new forms of forest urbanisms can be developed?

The three-day conference will have three overarching themes (Science, Policy and Design) that will interweave ongoing research (with paper presentations and targeted respondents) from around the world with panel talks given by world-renowned practitioners across multiple fields.

June 26: Science
Panelists: Cecil Konijnendijk (NBSI/UBC), Christian Messier (UQAM/UQO), Rik De Vreese (EFI/EFUF), Cynnamon Dobbs (CMME), Colleen Murphy-Dunning (URI/YSE)

Moderated by Bart Muys (FNL, KU Leuven)

June 27: Policy
Panelists: Anders Busse Nielsen (LANDFORCE), Liesl Vanautgaerden (Dept. Omgeving), Puay Yok Tan (NUS/SBG), Timothy Beatley (UV/BCN)

Moderated by Hans Leinfelder (UDULP, KU Leuven)

June 28: Design
Panelists: Margarita Jover (TSA/aldayjover), Amy Whitesides (Stoss/Harvard GSD), Bas Smets (Bureau Bas Smets), Kate Cullity (TCL/FAILA), Michel Desvigne (MDP)

Moderated by Kelly Shannon (ICoU, KU Leuven)

Visit the website for more information on the daily schedules, expert panelists, registration fees and fun activities to do around Leuven!

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