René VAN DER VELDE
Institution: Delft University of Technology – The Netherlands
Keywords: Rhine Delta Cities, Urban Forestry, Research Agenda, Climate Adaptation, Sustainable Energy, Circular Economy, Mobility Revolution, Agglomeration
Rhine Delta cities demonstrate particular patterns, features and details of urban green space, of which trees and woodlands form historically critical components. Urban green spaces in Dutch lowland cities are shaped by the specific abiotic and biotic conditions of lowland landscapes, and by planning and design practices responding to ongoing developments in the technological, environmental and societal realm. Rapid developments in these realms however, are expected to radically impact on the agency of urban forestry, with both positive and negative consequences. An adequate overview of these developments is needed to frame future directions of the discipline, in relation to the existing body of knowledge and directions for future research. In the context of Dutch lowland cities, extensive impacts are expected from climate adaptation, the transition to sustainable energy and a circular economy, the anticipated revolution in mobility and transportation, and patterns of agglomeration. The current body of knowledge on urban forestry in the Netherlands is currently insufficiently elaborated to deal with these developments in a proactive way, such that it is unlikely that the full potential of trees and woodlands will be realized during the anticipated transformation of urban territories catalyzed by these developments.