Summary of Research
Climate change represents a significant threat to urban infrastructure, environmental quality and the health of city dwellers. Green infrastructure is itself at risk through greater extremes in temperature fluctuation, consequent flourishing of tree pests and diseases, drought and perceived increased risk of subsidence leading to tree removal.
There is much evidence to suggest that urban trees, and the wider green infrastructure they are a part of, can considerably improve the quality of the environment and provision of a wide range of socio-economic, health and environmental benefits. However, there is no clear system for determining the biophysical interactions, benefits, or managing potential trade-offs within a risk-benefit context, so as to optimally support the protection and sustainable regeneration of UK towns and cities.
The Urban Trees and Greenspace in a Changing Climate Programme intends to develop such a system through consolidating and building upon existing work to provide the evidence base for urban trees, definition and communication of best practice guidance, and robust assessment, evaluation and dissemination tools so that the risks and benefits of urban tree placement can be more fully assessed by society, policy makers and planners.
Furthermore, the Programme maintains the centre of excellence which FR has developed over several decades on land regeneration practices to establish and maintain urban greenspaces on former brownfield and contaminated sites.