Urban Forests

Trees and a trail in Forest Park, Portland, OR

The term “urban forest” refers to the network of green spaces in a community where trees and other woody plants are maintained to improve air quality, stormwater management, and wildlife habitat.

Urban forests may be the remnants of the natural environment preserved in the process of urbanization, such as Portland, Oregon's Forest Park. Or they may be manmade networks of trees in cities like in Johannesburg, South Africa or hand-planted forests such as the Parque da Tijuca in Rio De Janeiro. These ecosystems can also provide recreational space for people. They are a vital part of a community’s green infrastructure.