After three days of vivid engagements coupled with knowledge exchange between delegates of the European Forum on Urban Forestry 2019, held at the German Sports University Cologne, the event came to a close with general satisfaction from participants. During the closing session, Clive Davies, Chair EFUF International Steering group, highlighted the relevance of continuous participation in Urban Forestry conferences at both locally and internationally. Researchers, policy makers, and various stakeholders took part in three days of continuous discussions through plenary sessions, excursions and parallel sessions based on various themes. These were punctuated with interactive events such as the poster session, icebreaker, and social dinner that allowed delegates reflect on the various topics as well as personally share their perspectives.
The feedback from the steering group was positive, with their efforts resulting into a well-organized event, and positive remarks were made about the choice of the venue, located in the Cologne Green Belt. The closing session provided Prof Alan Simson the opportunity to introduce EFUF 2020 that will be held in Manchester, United Kingdom under the theme “Urban Forestry for a Resilient Future”. For more information click here.
Prior to the closing ceremony, parallel sessions were held. Tessa Hegetschweller, while speaking under the theme of health and well-being, discussed how to integrate physical forest characteristics into socio-cultural forest monitoring. Furthermore, Prof. Piotr Wezyk from University of Agriculture, Krakow emphasized that: “Maintenance tools are needed to help cities organize and monitor their activities and maximize ecosystem services”, while sharing about his research with Life Urban Green. For more details click here.
The highlight of the day was the announcement of the winner of this year’s European Young Urban Forester Award. The proud winner was Thomas Campagnaro from the University of Padova.
The day was wrapped up with an excursion to the Forest Laboratory in Cologne (Waldlabor) which was established to test out innovative forms of urban forestry in the face of climate change and changing society. While there, delegates were able to see innovations by students from Aachen university with many described as green spaces turned into living rooms. The models displayed left lasting impressions on the minds of delegates on what the possibilities are for the future in terms of having climate smarter cities.
Following the climax of EFUF 2019, participants will not only return home with memories of their stay in Cologne, but also better ideas on shaping their cities following a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives that were presented. It was truly a learning experience for all. We are grateful to the organizing institutions, local organizing committee, the programme committee and the international steering group. Indeed, ‘Urban forests full of energy’ is a forseeable and achievable concept. See you in Manchester!
To view conference presentations, click on the link below:
Photo credit: Joshua Amaitum Elukut