UBC Graduate Research

Higher Education in Urban Forestry in North America and Europe: Profiling Skills and Competencies for the Labor Market of Today and Tomorrow Baumeister, Christoph Florian


Higher education in urban forestry is fragmented, encompassing multiple disciplines. The same is true for the fields of occupation—professionals in urban forestry work in a multi-faceted labor market. Little research has been done to describe what higher education in urban forestry looks like and what the fields of employment in the urban forestry sector are. Furthermore, there is a lack of knowledge with respect to skills and competencies professionals should have to manage, create and design urban woodlands. Using a descriptive methodology, this study identified higher institutions in urban forestry and fields of employment by analyzing labor statistics as well as books, journals and webpages. Additionally, I used multiple approaches to profile needed skills and competencies: job descriptions, opinions of practitioners and employers were used to give voice to the labor market. Existing urban forest management plans were scanned for components. I have examined research topics, opinions of educators of higher urban forestry institutions, as well as visions of cities to predict competencies needed for the labor market of tomorrow. The results indicate that growing urbanization and public demand on urban greenspaces call for new professionals, who must unify, expand and redefine existing established disciplines. Finally, they should be able to identify cities’ challenges, develop solutions and should know the vital contribution of urban greenspaces to livable green cities of tomorrow.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada