After the Inventory: Activating Urban Forests
You'll learn about:
Three approaches to measuring, enhancing, and supporting urban forests as civic amenities
How data and science are shaping goals for urban canopy valuation and restoration at the block, neighborhood, and municipal scale
Strategies to attract and sustain community and government resources for nature-based resiliency initiatives and open-space conservation
The spectrum of landscapes that host the urban forest, moving beyond street trees to include urban woodlands, remnant landscapes, and the adaptation of commercial-scaled tree nurseries to vacant land
Our urban forest is critical infrastructure that enhances property values, manages stormwater and provides a sense of place. In this session, you will explore three approaches to measuring, valuing, and restoring urban woodlands both citywide and at the neighborhood scale. Learn about planning processes and initiatives that move beyond street tree improvements and into the activation of underutilized urban spaces—and compare approaches in traditional-growth cities with those of urban areas managing an excess of vacant land.
This session highlights case studies from Baltimore, Detroit, and New York of urban canopy improvement programs that enlist stewardship and civic participation, each initiated through a data-driven and user-oriented approach while working towards unique local resiliency goals. Learn how New York adopted a citywide approach to measuring and valuing 7,000 acres of urban woodlands across the five boroughs, revitalizing underutilized natural forests to meet citywide resiliency goals. Explore how Baltimore paired science and stewardship with civic participation in its urban canopy improvement efforts. Examine how Detroit linked new stormwater management mandates with economic development opportunities to grow all of the trees it plants within its own municipal boundaries.
, City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department
Confirmed SpeakerErin Kelly, ASLA, is the Lead Landscape Strategist for the City of Detroit’s Planning and Development Department. In this role she is facilitating the redevelopment of Detroit’s urban landscapes, frequently at the interface of land and water. Over the last six years, Erin has worked to operationalize land stewardship activities in the region, largely through collaborative prototyping and the partnered implementation of green stormwater infrastructure. Erin has a bachelor of arts in community development and propaganda from the Evergreen State College and a master of landscape architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design.
, Natural Areas Conservancy
, New York
Confirmed SpeakerHelen M. Forgione is the Senior Ecologist at the Natural Areas Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that restores and conserves the green and blue spaces of New York City in order to enhance the lives of all New Yorkers. Helen guides the creation and establishment of the citywide assessment of NYC’s natural areas and promotes data-driven management. Helen has held previous positions at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation and has over 25 years of experience working in ecology in the NYC metropolitan region. Helen holds a MS in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Rutgers University and a BS in Biology from the University of Connecticut.
Confirmed SpeakerMiriam Avins is the founder and executive director of Baltimore Green Space, a land trust that works with neighborhoods to protect their treasured open spaces. She frequently presents on community greening and land security, and has published white papers on community-managed open space; stewardship practices of land trusts; and Baltimore’s forest patches. Avins is also a member of the Baltimore City Commission on Sustainability.