Monika WINCZEKa , Ewa SIEDLARCZYKa, Karolina ZIĘBA-KULAWIKa, Piotr WĘŻYKa, Katarzyna BAJOREK-ZYDROŃb and Kinga SZERSZEŃb
Institution: aInstitute of Forest Resource Management, Faculty of Forestry, University of Agriculture, Krakow – Poland; bProGea 4D – Poland
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Keywords: Urban Greenery, Human Well-Being, Social Participation, I-Tree Eco, Air Pollution, Carbon Sequestration, Avoided Run-Off
As humans, we undeniably depend on nature. In our urbanized world, urban vegetation is often the only expression of nature in people’s everyday lives. According to scientific predictions, the trend of urbanization will continue. Therefore, it seems evident that the role of urban greenery in our, urban dwellers, lives increases. So should do our awareness and knowledge.
Various forms of urban green infrastructure – parks, street trees, boulevards, gardens etc., are known as urban forests, despite their differences from vast areas of woodland, commonly associated with the term of forest. Numerous functions performed by urban forests are known as ecosystem services (ES) and range from impact on microclimate of cities to spiritual experiences.
The aim of this paper is to evaluate ES provided by high vegetation (trees) of Planty Park (Krakow, Poland), investigate purposes and motivations of visitors of the park and compare both scientific and social aspects of the role of urban forests in cities.
For the ES evaluation, the I-Tree Eco software was used, with a complete inventory dataset from MONIT-AIR project as an input. The survey of visitors included questions regarding reasons behind visits, importance of park’s functions and social participation. It was aimed at the social perspective of an impact of Planty as an urban green infrastructure on its visitors.
Based on the tree inventory (R3TREES database owned by Urban Greenery Authority of Krakow) of Planty Park (21.55 ha) we found that 2,158 trees (mainly Acer platanoides, Tilia cordata and Aesculus hippocastanum) stored 1,738.5 t of carbon, removed 0.83 t of air pollutants and at the same time contributed to 990.11 m3 of avoided run-off. The total value of ecosystem services taken into consideration in Planty Park, calculated for 2015 was in total 21,439.47 EUR (9.93 EUR per tree).
Presented work is just a small step toward a full understanding of the complexity of urban forests’ role in the contemporary world. Further work including direct measurements on trees and their surrounding is needed to widen scope and improve accuracy of such research.