Planning the Urban Forest

A One-Day Workshop for City and County Planners, Planning Officials, and Consultants, plus Allied Professionals

Green infrastructure is an essential element of a sustainable community, and its core is the urban forest. Learn what constitutes the urban forest, how to document and quantify its social, environmental, economic, and other benefits, and how to integrate all these concerns and priorities into all aspects of the local and regional planning process. This one-day workshop will help you reposition trees as a strategic investment for your community's future.

Developed cooperatively between the American Planning Association and the U.S. Forest Service, this course introduces planners and other professionals to the core principles and best practices of planning the urban forest and the technologies that can help them do a better job.


Planning the Urban Forest is team-taught by an urban forestry professional with background in urban planning and a professional urban planner with background in landscape architecture. Working together with a local hosting organization, they incorporate local speakers and input into each workshop, so that content is both nationally produced and current as well as locally relevant. The course includes programmed small group exercises in which participants can work with the concepts presented and think through some of the challenges of planning the urban forest in their own communities.

As part of the development of this workshop, the Pennsylvania APA Chapter hosted a pilot workshop in Lancaster in October 2010, after which the course was refined on the basis of feedback from participants. The course subsequently debuted in final form as a four-hour workshop at the APA National Planning Conference in Boston on Saturday, April 9, 2011.

Subsequently, the Texas Forest Service hoted the first post-rollout workshop in Waco on June 2, 2011.

More information is available from the Texas Forest Service. Contact Jim Carse at

This workshop is now available to any organization or APA chapter willing to host it. Host organizations are expected to cover all costs for the trainers, materials, and facilities; in most cases, organizations will do this through registration fees. Organizations are encouraged to contact APA for more information on logistics, scheduling, budgeting, and arrangements with trainers.

Course Structure

View a detailed course outline (pdf)


R.J. Laverne, Director, Davey Institute, Davey Tree Expert Co., Kent, Ohio

David Rouse, Principal, Wallace Roberts & Todd, Philadelphia

APA wishes to thank both Davey Tree Expert Co. and WRT for their support of this project.

Read more about the presenters

Training Workshop Inquiries

Contact Jim Schwab, AICP, Project Manager, at