Video: Keynote – Cecil Konijnendijk van den Bosch

Exploring The Complex Liaison Between The Sylvan And The Urban

Since the rise of the first cities, the relationship between the Sylvan and the Urban has been complex. Although city and forest have often been regarded as enemies, or at least as opposite ends on a continuum between the man-made and the natural, cities have also been heavily dependent on forests, not in the least for their very development. Moreover, some cities have developed as true ‘forest cities’, integrating trees and woodland into their very fabric and mentality. This presentation analyses the current relationship between forest and city, based on historical insights and present policies, initiatives and projects from across the globe. It emphasizes the role of research in strengthening the ties between urban and sylvan, as for example reflected in the advances made by the urban forestry field. Developments such as the rise of green infrastructure thinking and the provision of a range of ecosystem services are critically analysed. Difficulties in assessing cultural ecosystem services are hampering the development of the urban-forest relationship, as forests and trees in urban areas provide a range of cultural services that contribute to the health, wellbeing and happiness of urbanites. Lessons will be drawn for the role of forestry in an urbanising world.

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