UBC Undergraduate Research

Recommendations for Vancouver's Future Urban Forest Management Plan Fraser, Eli Apr 14, 2014

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Eli Fraser  Grad Essay     Recommendations for Vancouver’s Future Urban Forest Management Plan FRST 497- Graduating Essay  Eli Fraser 4/14/2014       Eli Fraser  Grad Essay ii  Abstract  This essay outlines recommendations and aspects that should be covered in Vancouver’s upcoming Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). Four cities’ urban forest strategies, Toronto, Victoria, Seattle, and Portland, are analysed for common themes and attributes that are applicable to Vancouver. Vancouver’s urban forest strategy will be completed sometime in 2014. Three overarching goals were found in all four plans, with many other minor commonalities found throughout all the cities’ plans. These three common goals were to conserve and enhance their urban forests, provide stewardship to the public to properly manage and care for their sections of the urban forest, and to guarantee equitable distribution of the urban forest benefits to all residents of the city. Along with these common goals there were many other elements that were recommended for Vancouver to use in their UFMP. Examples are a holistic approach and effort from all departments of the city, economic evaluation of the current urban forest functions, and certain environmental benefits the cities’ want to see from their urban forest. Some other aspects that were not in all four plans are suggested for Vancouver’s UFMP. The current efforts that Vancouver is making towards its UFMP are also examined. These efforts, along with the recommendations outlined in this paper, will ensure Vancouver has a vigorous, in-depth urban forest strategy that will produce many values and benefits for the city, now and in the future.   Eli Fraser  Grad Essay iii  Table of Contents Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... ii Index of Tables....................................................................................................................................... iii Introduction ............................................................................................................................................. 1 The Urban Forest ..................................................................................................................................... 2 Recommendations for Vancouver’s UFMP from the Four Cities’ Plans ................................................... 4 Three Overarching Goals in All Four City Plans .................................................................................. 4 Other Common Aspects/Themes Found in the Four Plans .................................................................... 7 Specific Recommendations for Vancouver ......................................................................................... 10 Conclusion ............................................................................................................................................ 13 Literature Cited ..................................................................................................................................... 16  Index of Tables Table 1: Attributes of the four cities’ urban forest plan............................................................................. 5 Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 1  Introduction Vancouver has an expansive urban forest and there is enormous potential to build upon this current resource; however, the city lacks any serious urban forest initiative or strategy. The city can look at other North American cities’ urban forest management plans and use the key points and actions from these plans to fill the gaps and current inefficiencies found in the management of its urban forest and green spaces. Vancouver is one of the few major North American cities without an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP). From Halifax to Chicago to Vancouver, Washington, almost every large to mid-sized city has an urban forest plan that states the current and long-term strategies and policies for all the urban green spaces and trees in and near the city. The City of Vancouver already considers itself to be one of the greenest cities in the world and plans to be the greenest by 2020, yet it does not have any overarching strategies and plans for its urban forest. This shows that the city still has a lot of work to do to accomplish its Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. However, Vancouver is currently working on an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP), which should be done sometime in 2014. Without such a plan, Vancouver has many inadequacies and holes in its urban forest management. There is a lack of information on Vancouver’s trees, with only a rough estimate of 1.6 million trees in the city (of which 140,000 are street trees) (Stueck 2012). Although Vancouver has an in-depth inventory of its street trees, it has no inventory on park trees or any kind of canopy cover measurements. Some of the only plans the city has so far is to increase the urban forest by 140,000 trees and guarantee that all citizens live within a five minute walking distance of a public green space by 2020 (Stueck 2012). The city also has street and park tree maintenance plans and guidelines to help private property owners to care for their own trees (City of Vancouver 2012). These are good starting points for a management plan but Vancouver still has much to add to create an integrative, exhaustive UFMP to help achieve the city’s green aspirations.  This essay will examine the master plans of Toronto, Victoria, Seattle, and Portland and will explore what aspects Vancouver’s UFMP can take from them. All four case cities have much more in-depth inventories of their urban trees, especially Toronto and Seattle, and all four have these overarching goals: to preserve, restore and expand their urban forests; to provide stewardship for public and private entities to properly manage their urban trees and green spaces; and to guarantee urban forest benefits are accessible to all residents of the city.  In the formation Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 2  of their UFMP, Vancouver needs to take into account these aspects and other aspects that are unique to each city’s plan and apply them to Vancouver’s urban forest. Using the information that is available in Toronto, Victoria, Seattle, and Portland’s urban forest strategies, this essay will determine the main points that should be covered in Vancouver’s UFMP.  The Urban Forest The urban forest is primarily made up of all the trees and plant species found within the influence of an urban area or city. The urban forest is commonly considered to be all trees found within and near an urban area, but has more recently been broadened to include all the green structures in a city. It is more than just the urban woodlands and forest ecosystems; it also includes non-woody species such as lawns and all general green spaces. The urban green infrastructure is all the green elements of a city, from the individual street trees and city parks to garden allotments, and all green features on private property (Randrup, et al. 2005). These can include green spaces in courtyards, terraces, sports grounds, private gardens, and all natural areas. The urban forest incorporates this green infrastructure, defined as the network of green spaces and other environmental features which should be managed and designed for an array of functions that can deliver a wide range of values to the city and urban population (Gulsrud 2013). The quality of the urban forest helps define the liveability of a city and is shaped by both human actions and natural processes (Gye and Cullington 2013).   Urban forestry involves the management of all trees that are influenced by the urban area and population. Traditionally, definitions of urban forestry consist of the planning and management of trees and woods in cities and towns, but more recently the definition has expanded to include the whole planned approach to all urban vegetation. It includes integrating all the elements of the urban forest with strategic policies and plans for the long-term and connecting various sectors and programs across an array of disciplines and experts. The overarching goal is to deliver multiple benefits to produce environmental, economic, social, and cultural goods and services with the participation and partnerships of all the stakeholders involved, both private and public (Randrup, et al. 2005). Urban forestry includes the efforts of urban greening and, due to the rapid urbanization happening across the world, these efforts are more important than ever. Green spaces continue to have high pressure on them from the harsh growing conditions found in urban areas, such as pollution, urban development, overuse, Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 3  vandalism and mechanical damage. These issues combined with the challenges of tree diseases, climate change, problems with urban climates, and shifting political decisions has called for an integrative, overarching strategic planning approach of urban forestry. In a single definition urban forestry is: “the art, science, and technology of managing all plant organisms in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic, and aesthetic benefits this vegetation provides society” (Gulsrud 2013). All of the goods and services it provides are part of the urban forest resource.  This urban forest resource produces a range of benefits and values for a city and urban population. Originally urban green spaces were included in rapidly urbanizing cities during the industrial revolution to promote recreation and health for the industrial worker, and also to combat the high amount of pollution and smog occurring in cities at the time (Konijnendijk, et al. 2006). Now urban forests and green spaces are recognized to provide a much wider variety of benefits apart from health and recreation. Presently the emphasis is more on the services the forests provide than the physical goods that can be produced from it. These functions and values are usually grouped into social, cultural, economic, and environmental benefits (Gulsrud 2013). Urban trees and parks make neighbourhoods more liveable by making cities and communities more aesthetically pleasing, and also by encouraging social interaction and helping to reduce crime and violence. Natural urban environments help fulfil important psychological and spiritual needs, reducing stress and encouraging citizens to spend more time outside (City of Seattle 2013). Certain city trees are important to the culture and history of a neighbourhood or community, and they help create a sense of place for the residents. An urban forest also provides numerous economic benefits to a city. A city’s green spaces and trees increase property value and encourage greater shopping and business quality. They save costs in storm-water management by reducing rainwater runoff and shade trees reduce the wear and tear of rain on asphalt and cement. Green spaces also provide savings on health care costs, with the proven benefits to mental and physical health (Gye and Cullington 2013). The biggest benefit derived from a high quality urban forest, however, comes from its environmental functions.  It reduces storm-water runoff and intercepts and absorbs pollution; it stores and sequesters carbon; it ameliorates climate and fights the heat island effect in cities; supports and maintains terrestrial and aquatic habitats; it preserves biodiversity; and it helps stabilize steep slopes (City of Seattle 2013). Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 4  Recommendations for Vancouver’s UFMP from the Four Cities’ Plans Three Overarching Goals in All Four City Plans The urban forest plans of the four cities (Toronto, Victoria, Seattle, and Portland) have many similarities that should be applied to Vancouver’s Urban Forest Management Plan. These aspects are general and could apply to any urban forest in the world. The overarching goals found in all four plans were: (1) to conserve, enhance and increase the current urban forest and its benefits; (2) to develop support and awareness for the urban forest throughout the city and communities (i.e. public stewardship for the urban forest resource); and (3) to ensure and maximize equitable distribution of urban forest benefits for all neighbourhoods throughout the city. These are the most prevalent goals but there is an array of other common themes and challenges that are recognized in the four cities’ plans, and many other subjects and areas that are found in more than one plan. These are more minor issues, but are none the less important and should be considered when Vancouver is developing its urban forest management plan. The major attributes and recommendations found in the four cities’ urban forest plans that Vancouver should use in their UFMP is summarized in Table 1. Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 5  Table 1: Attributes of the four cities’ urban forest plan.   When the four cities talk of enhancing and preserving their urban forest, one of their major focuses is increasing the biodiversity of tree and plant species throughout the city, with a focus on native species and the elimination of invasive species. Increasing the biodiversity will create a forest more resilient to pest and disease outbreaks and to climate change, while providing a better array of wildlife habitat, helping to bring nature back into the urban area. Seattle has recognized that their urban forest does not match the native forests of the Pacific Northwest, which are made up predominately of evergreens with only a small component of deciduous. However, the city’s current urban forest consists of only 31% evergreen and 69% deciduous (City of Seattle 2013). These deciduous trees do not provide the same amount of Toronto Victoria Seattle PortlandConserve and Enhance  √ √ √ √Create Public Stewardship √ √ √ √Guarantee Equitable Benefits √ √ √ √In-depth Inventory √ √Canopy Cover Targets √ √ √In-depth Evaluation of Functions √ √Sectioning of City with Specific Objectives and Details √Integrating Urban Forest Objectives with Other City Plans √ √Seeking Environmental, Economic, and Social Benefits from Urban Forest √ √ √ √Urban Forest PlansPlan AttributesEli Fraser  Grad Essay 6  shade and rainwater mitigation as evergreens because they do not keep their canopy year round and also have shorter life spans than many native Northwest evergreens. Toronto has documented the lack of diversity in their urban forest as well, with only 10 tree species making up the majority of its forest (nearly 60% of the total trees) (City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation 2013). Their urban forest is composed of a majority of native Ontario species, which make up 64% of it while native North American species make up roughly 75% of it (City of Toronto 2013). Having an urban forest consisting of native species is also important to the resilience of the forest, helping to ensure exotic/invasive species do not dominate and deteriorate the urban environment and destroy natural habitats. The cities are not only looking to create diversity in species but also in tree ages, which also helps with the hardiness of the urban forest. Most of the cities have recognized that many of their urban trees are coming to the end of their expected lives and will soon need replacing. These diversity management goals will both help enhance and protect the cities’ urban forests.   Another major part of enhancing the cities’ urban forest is increasing their overall tree cover. All of the cities except Victoria have canopy cover goals above their current levels. They plan to reach these goals through increased tree plantings and prioritizing urban forest development in designated areas. The canopy cover goals for Toronto, Seattle, and Portland are not insignificant either, compared to their current canopy levels. Toronto plans to increase its cover from 26.6% to between 30 and 40%, Seattle from 23% to 30%, and Portland from 24% to as much of 35% in some areas (City of Toronto 2013, City of Seattle 2013, Portland Parks & Recreation 2003).  These cities also want to increase their urban forests by connecting larger natural areas together through green corridors, planting trees in low or poor quality tree areas, and determining where there is available space to plant.   The cities are taking many different actions and goals to conserve their urban forests and several of these are common throughout the four plans. One major action is to work with all other city departments to guarantee the preservation of all trees and natural areas whenever possible, especially larger trees and unique wildlife habitats. If trees are cut for development or other reasons, then other trees and vegetation must be planted as replacements somewhere else in the city (hopefully in the proximity of the cut trees). When new trees are planted, ample and healthy soils should be available for the vegetation to properly grow. Regular, pro-active management and maintenance of trees on city land is also a consistent action found in the plans. Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 7  This involves identifying and rating the health of the city’s forest, and regularly checking that this health is not deteriorating. If problems with tree health are found, it is important to apply the proper maintenance before serious problems occur. In general this means pro-active, instead of re-active, maintenance and pruning to help mitigate risk and enhance the long-term health of the forest. This monitoring starts with an extensive inventory of the urban forest to create a baseline to determine when maintenance is required.  The other two main goals are to create a sense of stewardship in the public for the urban forest resource and to maximize the urban forest benefits for all residents of the city. These two goals in turn help contribute to the goal of enhancing the entire urban forest. Increasing awareness of the value of the urban forest resource is very important to its protection, considering that all four cities’ forests are mostly on private land. As an example 60% (6.1 million trees) of Toronto’s urban trees occur on private lands (City of Toronto 2013). This involves engaging residents, neighbourhoods, and private property owners in urban forest issues and goals, so that the entire city supports the plan. Communities will need extra support and resources to care properly for and make informed decisions about their own urban trees and vegetation. Guidelines and standards need to be set for tree protection and maintenance levels, and, if need be, enforced with bylaws and legislation. A lot of the management of a city’s urban forest is up to the public to care for the trees on their private land. Ensuring equitable distribution of the urban forest benefit is very much linked with making an inventory of the urban forest. The areas lacking canopy cover have to be determined and these areas then have to be targeted for increased planting and management. With proper maintenance the values of urban greenery will be transported to the greyer areas of the urban landscape. Other Common Aspects/Themes Found in the Four Plans All four cities also have an evaluation of the benefits their urban forest generates for their population, with actual dollar numbers placed on many of these benefits. Most plans have been able to calculate the economic benefits (almost all plan to calculate economic value of all benefits in the future), but have more difficulties measuring the value of other benefits such as aesthetic and cultural functions. Toronto’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation Department prepared an in-depth urban forestry study (Every Tree Counts- A Portrait of Toronto’s Urban Forest) before they released their Strategic Forest Management Plan describing the current composition of Toronto’s forest and quantifying its ecological services and functions. The study goes hand-in-Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 8  hand with the Strategic Forest Management Plan, and is able to economically quantify many of the benefits. The City of Toronto has determined that the urban forest saves the city $28 million per year in the form of air pollution filtration and energy savings (through temperature moderation).  It has a structural value of $7 billion, and the carbon storage of Toronto’s urban forest is valued at $25 million (City of Toronto 2013). The Every Tree Counts study determined that Toronto’s trees reduce energy use through cooling residential buildings by $10.2 million per year and improve air quality at a value of $16.9 million per year (City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation 2013). Portland’s Urban Forestry Management Plan also goes in-depth into the precise economic worth of its urban forest and trees, giving an exact value to each individual small, medium, and large tree, with the larger trees having the largest value. Portland estimated that a large tree will deliver $50 worth of benefits every year in the first twenty years of its life and $100 in the next thirty, producing roughly $4000 worth of benefits in 50 years (Portland Parks & Recreation 2003). These are just the benefits measured in economic terms. There are many other benefits that have not had economic value attached to them but are still well documented, such as the mental health benefits or decreased child obesity and asthma from having trees present in neighbourhoods. The health benefits provided by the urban forest are hard to measure economically but do decrease the cost on the health care system. Having the data on the economic value of each benefit is a key part of selling the importance of the urban forest to the city’s population. These types of economic statistics about urban forest functions can help when advocating for funds and showing municipal governments the saving opportunities associated with the resource. Some other themes and aspects that are consistent throughout all the plans are the exact functions that the cities are looking to gain from their urban forest. The functions with the most emphasis in the reports are storm water runoff reduction, pollution mitigation, wildlife habitat, and, as mentioned before, climate change adaptation and biodiversity. The cities have recognized the urban forest’s importance in maintaining and improving each city’s watershed health. These urban trees contribute to water quality by intercepting rain before it becomes runoff and by absorbing and cleaning runoff when it does occur during storms. It also reduces soil erosion and stabilizes slopes during these storm water events, preventing any kind of soil failure that valuable property is located on. In the same way the trees absorb pollutants from the water, they also absorb pollutants and intercept particulate matter from the air. Many woody plants can absorb Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 9  nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and chlorine and fluorine halogens and store the pollutants in their needles and leaves (Portland Parks & Recreation 2003). Seattle estimates its forest removes 725 metric tons of pollution from the air and water every year (City of Seattle 2013). These same trees also help battle climate change through storing and sequestering carbon. The urban forest also preserves key wildlife habitat that is otherwise lost in an urban setting. Larger groups of trees create more opportunities for an array of ecosystems and habitats for wildlife. In Victoria the sensitive ecosystem and habitats associated with Garry Oak groves are at risk because of the city’s development, meaning the preservation of its urban forest is more important than ever with approximately 100 species of flora and fauna listed as at risk in these ecosystems (Gye and Cullington 2013). As mentioned before urban trees clean the water and reduce the fluctuations of flow in streams, creating the opportunity for aquatic habitats to strive. These environmental functions are all increased through the presence of more large trees. The larger the tree the greater effect it has on a city’s climate. Toronto’s Every Tree Counts study calculated that a “75 cm tree in Toronto intercepts ten times more air pollution [and] can store up to 90 times more pollution... than a 15 cm tree” (City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation 2013). Net annual infrastructure benefits are estimated at $1-8 for a small tree and $48-76 for a large tree (Gye and Cullington 2013). This shows the importance of maintaining large urban trees and managing current medium sized trees appropriately so they can live to become a ‘large tree’.  The services are mainly environmental; however, there are many other health benefits that are outlined in the four cities’ plans. Urban forests provide city dwellers with a connection to nature they would otherwise not find in urban areas. This contact is associated with lower blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and stress levels, while also producing positive emotional states. It has been shown that neighbourhoods with high canopy cover have reduced levels of crime and aggressive behaviour. This canopy cover also creates social meeting places and encourages better neighbourhood relations (Gye and Cullington 2013). The presence of trees encourages residents to stay outside longer and exercise more, giving an aesthetically pleasing place for recreation. Increased recreation means increased health benefits. It has already been stated that urban trees reduce heating in buildings, but they also provide shade and cooling for outside environments. The protective shade of trees help reduce UV light, thus decreasing the risk of skin cancer, heat stress, and other related health issues to do with excessive sun exposure. Urban Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 10  trees and green spaces also reduce the heat island effect that occurs in cities due to an excess of urban surfaces, such as roofs and concrete, which heat up when exposed to direct sun much more quickly than natural landscapes. With a lack of urban green areas the temperature difference between a city environment and a natural environment can be quite significant, resulting in all the disadvantages of high temperatures such as increased energy consumption, impaired water quality, and compromised human health (United States Environmental Protection Agency 2013). All these functions and values, whether they be environmental, economical, or health benefits, result in a more liveable city and a more positive, happy population and society. This means, as Victoria’s master plan states, in a biophilic city where there is an abundant amount of nature throughout the urban area, the residents are exposed to a diverse amount of natural experiences every day in their work and play (Gye and Cullington 2013).  All the plans look at urban forest management as a city wide responsibility with each city department playing a role depending on what part of the plan is being tackled. For example, Seattle has up to eight City Departments responsible for tree management (City of Seattle 2013). Although urban forestry involves a holistic approach from the city, usually one department or committee deals with the majority of the plan. This usually means that there is an Urban Forestry branch or commission within the Parks and Recreation Department that handles the implementation of the plan, and it is up to this urban forestry team to steer the plan and coordinate the necessary departments for proper implementation. This team/branch/commission initiates the work, monitors the progress of the departments, and ensures there is funding for urban forest programs and projects. They also communicate with public and private entities and partnerships that are involved with the plan.  Specific Recommendations for Vancouver All these aspects of the four cities’ urban forest plans are applicable to Vancouver and should be included in their UFMP. Some other key points in the management plans are not consistent throughout all the plans but are still very appropriate for Vancouver. One of the major features of Portland’s UFMP is its breakdown of the city into different sections with their own goals and objectives. The UFMP breaks Portland into five Urban Land Environments (ULEs), each with its own Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis, actions, and performance measures. This breakdown is not into different neighbourhoods but different urban areas. They are Residential, Commercial/Industrial/Institutional, Natural Areas and Stream Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 11  Corridors, Transportation Corridors and Rights-of-Way, and Developed Parks and Open Spaces. Each of these ULEs has information about canopy cover and species composition, as well the percentage of city land they cover and information about property owners in the area. Each ULE has different urban forest compositions and has different amounts of land available for increasing and enhancing the urban forest, and therefore can only have certain realistic targets for canopy cover. For instance, Portland’s canopy cover target for residential areas is 35-40% but only 15% for commercial/industrial areas (Portland Parks & Recreation 2003). The other cities’ urban forest plans do not have this exact target for each section of their city. Victoria delineates its tree cover into thirteen different neighbourhoods, not urban areas, and does not have a canopy cover goal for each one but rather an overall city target (Gye and Cullington 2013).  For Vancouver’s UFMP it will be best to take Portland’s approach to sectioning off the city into different urban environments, determining the exact composition of urban trees in each area with their own SWOT analysis, objectives, and management targets. Examples of urban environments in Vancouver are single, detached housing areas (i.e. Kitsilano, Kerrisdale, etc.); business/high-density areas (i.e. Downtown, West End, etc.); or heavily forested areas (i.e. Stanley Park, Pacific Spirit Park, etc.) (City of Vancouver 2013). These neighbourhood examples may not be primarily made up of one urban environment, but could consist of a multitude of environments. Each section should have its own realistic canopy cover targets, depending on current conditions and possible opportunities. For example, it is not possible for Downtown Vancouver to have the same tree cover as Point Grey. This does not mean that Downtown Vancouver should not increase its current canopy cover, just that it is not reasonable to have the same targets as other areas or neighbourhoods of Vancouver. Other aspects of Portland’s UFMP that Vancouver can use are the incentives to private land owners for proper maintenance of the urban forest on their property and the use of a cost benefit analysis. Performing a cost benefit analysis before any management plans are implemented will demonstrate to the public and the municipal government the economic benefits of investing in the urban forest. As outlined before, all four cities go into detail about the economic benefits, but Portland does the best job of outlining the exact economic costs and benefits that the urban forest resource produces and incurs.  For example, it analyses the increased resale values of property and costs of establishment and maintenance of urban trees (Portland Parks & Recreation 2003). Vancouver should also use Portland’s recommendation of Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 12  incentives to private property owners to properly care for their urban greenery and trees or for conserving and enhancing their section of the urban forest. Incentives can come in the form of rebates and discounts or property tax incentives that encourage planting and maintenance (Portland Parks & Recreation 2003). This will deliver tangible benefits to the public for the care and protection of the urban forest. Portland and Victoria both have objectives in their management plans outlining the integration of urban forest management goals with the broader planning objectives of the city. This means city departments should implement urban forest policy in accordance with their own plans and development guidelines, and while fulfilling their own strategies. Wherever possible projects should be used to piggy-back urban forest initiatives and take advantage of opportunities to implement green space when developing public areas. This will help link together city projects and guarantee consistency across city objectives. This piggy-backing of projects should be used in Vancouver when implementing its UFMP. New bike lanes and green ways that the City of Vancouver is developing can help increase Vancouver’s canopy cover and urban green spaces by becoming physically more green and transforming them into ecosystem corridors. The Seaside Greenway that is currently being completed in Vancouver is an example that can be transformed into both a productive nature corridor and a functioning soft transportation corridor (Vancouver- Streets and Transportation 2014). The city is already integrating city plans by pairing the future creation of an urban forest management strategy as part of their Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. This Action Plan will be a large part of the success of Vancouver’s UFMP and vice versa, with both plans helping to accomplish each other’s goals and objectives. Vancouver’s large and extensive urban forest means there is ample tree stock for pests and diseases to spread quickly throughout the city, creating a potential catastrophic outbreak that might devastate the city’s tree populations. With climate change and globalization, the threat of a pest or disease outbreak that can wipe out an entire tree species in the city is greater than ever. Victoria’s Urban Forest Master Plan lays out the steps for preventing and containing an outbreak, with emphasis on Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) (Gye and Cullington 2013). This means proactive management needs to take place so that when a ‘listed’ pest or disease is identified, the proper steps are initiated to control the spread. Adequate resources need to be available for monitoring the urban forest and preventing further infestation. Pests and diseases should not always be completely eradicated because they may already be a part of the natural Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 13  environment; they just need to be managed and maintained at an acceptable level so they do not cause lasting damage to a tree population. Seattle has identified four major exotic pests that can potentially damage their urban forest: Asian long-horned beetle, gypsy moth, emerald ash borer, and Dutch elm disease. These pests could also damage Vancouver’s urban forest because Vancouver has similar ecosystems to Seattle and is also located in the same part of the Pacific coast meaning Vancouver should also specifically monitor for these diseases and pests. Seattle calculated that these four pests could cause up to $3.5 billion worth of damage to their urban forest (City of Seattle 2013). Planting disease resistant species and climate change adaptive species will help mitigate the effects of any harmful pathogens.  Conclusion Vancouver’s Greenest City 2020 Action Plan has many goals that a well implemented UFMP can achieve. A UFMP will specifically help the Action Plan’s Access to Nature targets of ensuring that all Vancouver citizens live within a five minute walk of a green space and the planting of 150,000 new trees by 2020 (City of Vancouver 2012). Currently roughly 92% of residents live within a five minute walk of a public green space and only 2,000 trees per year have been planted in Vancouver over the last 20 years. The Action Plan’s strategy to guarantee that each resident lives within 400 metres of a green space is to create new pocket parks and enhance and expand current parks in areas and neighbourhoods that do not have access to nearby parks and greenways. To reach the target of 150,000 new trees by 2020 the City will have to greatly increase their current planting levels from 2,000 per year to 25,000 per year starting the year the Action Plan was made, 2012                              . Both these targets require increases in the urban forest, in both green spaces and canopy cover, and an in-depth urban forest strategy will provide the initiative and approach to implement and accomplish the goals. A Vancouver UFMP will help contribute to many other targets found in the Greenest City Action Plan. For example, it will help reduce energy use through increased tree cover; it will help make clean, high quality water and air through trees and vegetation that absorb and store pollutants and other air and water particulates; and it will contribute to the production of local food through increasing food producing parks and trees and community gardens (City of Vancouver 2012). Vancouver’s urban forest is already producing many of the functions that the Action Plan targets, such as creating clean air and clean drinking water, and an UFMP will Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 14  increase these benefits and values and help make them apparent and accessible to all residents of the city.  Vancouver will reap many benefits from a properly executed Urban Forest Management Plan. Vancouver’s urban forest currently creates many of these benefits and functions, and its already extensive urban forest will make the execution an UFMP that much easier. With the current municipal government in Vancouver very eager to implement green initiatives, an urban forest strategy should have the support and funding it needs to accomplish its targets and objectives. An important first step in making the UFMP is the creation of the baseline measurements of the urban forest and an in-depth inventory of current conditions and current benefits and functions of the urban forest. Vancouver’s Park Board does already have some baseline numbers on the urban forest with an inventory of tree type, age, caretaking history, and other data on each of Vancouver’s 138,000 street trees, but no information on trees in parks, other public property, and private property (City of Vancouver 2012).  The City also has an estimated 1.6 million city trees. There is some available information on the trees in North Vancouver, with estimations that the trees save the City of North Vancouver $6,514 in energy a year through shading and wind shielding, and have a total value to the city of $400,000 per year (Gye and Cullington 2013). If the same measurements are done for the City of Vancouver the value would most likely be higher and more in line with what Toronto estimates its urban forest to be valued at, which is $28 million per year (City of Toronto 2013).  The City of Vancouver has set a few objectives for its upcoming Urban Forest Management Plan. It wants to increase canopy cover, ensure that trees are strategically planted across the City, update practices and policies, and address the entire life cycle of the urban forest (planting, maintenance, protection, removal, and re-use).  The UFMP also wants to create an integrated inventory system and develop public engagement and stewardship programs. The UFMP is recognized as essential for meeting the Greenest City Action Plan and will assess available urban forest resources and opportunities for residential trees in Vancouver. The UFMP will establish a community wide vision for the enhancement and management of the urban forest, as well as a framework for tree planting and maintenance (CityStudio 2012). Many of these targets and objectives have been mentioned in this paper already, but the numerous other aspects found in the other four cities’ management plans should also be incorporated into Vancouver’s new UFMP. All these aspects are important for creating an urban forest strategy Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 15  that will bring the environmental, social, and economic values the city is trying to achieve. If the points described in this paper are incorporated into the upcoming UFMP, Vancouver will have a well-functioning, healthy urban forest that benefits all its residents and is sustainable for future generations.     Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 16  Literature Cited City of Seattle. 2013 Urban Forest Stewardship Plan. Urban Forest Stewardship Plan, Seattle:  City of Seattle, 2013.  City of Toronto. Sustaining & Expanding the Urban Forest: Toronto's Stratgic Forest  Management Plan. Strategic Forest Management Plan, Toronto: City of Toronto, Parks,  Forestry, and Recreation, Urban Forestry, 2013.  City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Every Tree Counts: A Portrait of Toronto's  Urban Forest. Urban Forestry Study, Toronto: City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry and  Recreation, Urban Forestry, 2013.  City of Vancouver. City of Vancouver- Areas of the city. November 22, 2013.  https://vancouver.ca/green-vancouver/areas-of-the-city.aspx (accessed March 25, 2014).  City of Vancouver. City trees. October 12, 2012. http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/trees.aspx (accessed March 29, 2014).  City of Vancouver. Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Action Plan, Vancouver: City of  Vancouver, 2012. CityStudio. CityStudio- Responsibilitrees. 2012.  http://citystudiovancouver.com/projects/150000-trees/ (accessed March 29, 2014).  Gulsrud, Natalie M. "Urban Forestry and Urban Greening." Green Space Functions & Benefits  lecture. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen: Department of Landscape Architecture  and Planning, September 2013.  Gulsrud, Natalie Marie. "Urban Forestry and Urban Greenery." History, concepts, developments  lecture. Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen: Department of Landscape Architecture  and Planning, September 2013.  Gye, Jeremy, and Judith Cullington. City of Victoria Urban Forest Master Plan. Urban Forest  Master Plan, Victoria: Gye & Associates Ltd, 2013.  Konijnendijk, Cecil C., M. Robert Ricard, Andy Kenney, and Thomas B. Randrup. "Defining  urban  forestry- A comparative perspective of North America and Europe." Urban  Forestry & Urban Greening, 2006: 93-103.  Portland Parks & Recreation. Portland Urban Forestry Management Plan 2004. Urban Forestry  Management Plan, Portland: Portland Parks & Recreation and the Urban Forestry  Management Plan Technical Advisory Committee, 2003.  Randrup, Thomas B., Cecil Konijnendijk, Michele Kaennel Dobbertin, and Renate Pruller.  "Chapter 1- The Concept of Urban Forestry in Europe." In Urban Forests and Trees,  by Cecil C. Konijnendijk, 9-20. Berlin: Springer, 2005.  Eli Fraser  Grad Essay 17  Stueck, Wendy. "Urban Forestation- Forests not just for tree huggers in Vancouver." The Globe  and Mail. August 24, 2012. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british- columbia/forests-not-just-for-tree-huggers-in-vancouver/article4498724/ (accessed  February 26, 2014).  United States Environmental Protection Agency. EPA- Heat Island Effect: Basic Information.  August 29, 2013. http://www.epa.gov/heatisland/about/index.htm (accessed March 17,  2014).  Vancouver- Streets and Transportation. City of Vancouver- Seaside Greenway Completion and  York Bikeway. January 17, 2014. https://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/point-grey- cornwall.aspx  (accessed March 25, 2014).     

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