WITH urban forestry high on the political and social agenda, the first keynote session speakers for the UK’s foremost international urban trees research conference have been confirmed.

Trees, People and the Built Environment 4 addresses how urban forestry is integral to the development of towns and cities as places where people want to live, work and play and how the use of trees can bring well-being benefits and help to reduce the urban carbon footprint.
Yvonne Lynch, a climate resilience strategist who advises governments internationally on urban greening, will talk about shifting perspectives on urban design and planning away from the traditional approaches that have dominated for over a century and how to move them towards a nature-sensitive urban design model.

Ian Bateman, professor of environmental economics and director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) at the University of Exeter Business School, will give an overview of the natural capital approach to decision-making and how it is the ideal framework for capturing the multitude of values generated by trees and woodland.

Other confirmed speakers include Professor Suzanne Simard, professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia, and Nadinè Galle, co-founder of Green City Watch, an award-winning geoAI platform for the near real-time monitoring of urban nature.

Conference Chair Cecil Konijnendijk, professor of urban forestry at the University of British Columbia and a specialist on the role of trees and green space in cities and towns, said: “With the impacts of climate change becoming increasingly detrimental, we urgently have to make our cities more resilient.

“The urban forest has a crucial role to play in building resilient and sustainable cities. Progress towards this will be in focus at TPBE4 where delegates will be able to hear global leaders in urban forestry and sustainable urban development share their research and experience. 

“The conference will also actively engage with participants to identify and discuss some of the big ideas that can help build greener and better cities.”

The 2020 conference at the University of Birmingham on 22 and 23 of April is hosted and organised by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) on behalf of a group of partner organisations.

For further information and booking visit www.charteredforesters.org/event/trees-people-built-environment-4/