Urban forestation

Aggiornato il: 15/09/2021

Urban and peri-urban forestry is the practice of managing metropolitan forests, to ensure their optimal contribution to the physiological, sociological, and economic well-being of urban societies. It is an integrated, interdisciplinary, participatory, and strategic approach to planning and managing forests and trees in cities and surrounding areas. It encompasses the assessment, planning, planting, maintenance, conservation, and monitoring of urban forests and can operate on scales ranging from individual trees to landscapes. It emphasizes the commitment of citizens (including educating them on the value and benefits of trees and forests) in caring for the growth and life of plants, whether they are publicly or privately owned.
Forestry, together with correct planning and environmental sustainability policies, is one of the tools that will allow cities, including the city of Prato, to respond to the increasingly urgent request to fight against the climate change within the city itself, thus making it a resilient city.


Various scientific studies and international institutions support the thesis that Urban Forestry is one of the solutions we must adapt to tackle climate change. Green areas provide numerous environmental, economic, social, and health benefits, including the reduction of climate-altering emissions, the mitigation of atmospheric and noise pollution, the implementation of the ecological network by improving connectivity and environmental functionality, the increase of local biodiversity, the improvement of urban and peri-urban landscape.

There is a great potential for forests and trees to remove CO2 and contribute to negative emissions. In the temperate climatic zone in which Prato is located, forestry interventions can be carried out on marginal lands, in former industrial areas, in riparian corridors, and above all around and inside the cities.
In fact, when we talk about forests we are talking about one of the current CO2 pools on the planet: forests, according to some researches (such as those of Giorgio Vacchiano, researcher and professor at the University of Milan), store about 450-650 GT of carbon in their aboveground biomass. Another important element that stores carbon is the soil (it is estimated that over 2,000 GT of carbon are stored in forest soils globally) and then there are the oceans, which are estimated to absorb even a greater amount of CO2.



Urban forestry is one of the solutions to change the way we design and manage our cities, thanks to it we can make cities more resilient and able to mitigate the effects of climate change. Urban forests are the backbone of green infrastructure: they connect rural and urban areas and improve the city's environmental footprint and operate on scales ranging from single trees to landscapes. We need to change our perspective on trees and forests - they can really make a difference in our cities, but we need to develop a holistic view to make a true ecological transition. Urban forestry can really make a difference.



As part of the Prato Urban Jungle project, Stefano Boeri Architetti's team is developing guidelines for Urban Forestry, intending to direct urban regeneration processes based on Nature and Forest-Based Solutions, identifying a system of solutions applicable to urban and peri-urban scale in which the interventions can be integrated with the natural heritage of the cities.

Linee guida per la Forestazione Urbana (83.91 MB) File con estensione pdf

Annex 1 - Action plan per la forestazione urbana di Prato (59.98 MB) File con estensione pdf

Annex 2 - Le norme di piano (566.21 KB)