UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Planning for public parks to meet urban forest objectives : a Canadian perspective Todd, Leila Fazel


Municipal parks and their services have evolved during the past decades, from pastoral grounds to sport and recreation assets, urban agriculture hubs, and venues for cultural events. Public municipal parks can also play a significant role in achieving municipalities’ strategic goals and canopy targets. With a changing climate and biodiversity loss occurring around the world and particularly in urban areas, enhanced tree planting in parks could help meet demands for ecosystem services. However, various challenges are associated with these efforts. This study investigates park policy, planning, and design in Canadian municipalities and their incorporation of urban forestry objectives. The research includes in-depth, detailed examination of municipal public parks (case studies); park-user interviews and surveys; and interviews and surveys of professionals involved in park planning, design, and development in Canadian cities. Professional interviewees include municipal staff, landscape architects, and park planning consultants. Results show a lack of clear direction and coordination between urban forestry objectives and municipal park planning and design. The research identifies a need for more clear alignment between urban forestry policy and recommendations and park planning and design practices in selected Canadian municipal parks. While municipalities are working towards achieving sports, recreation, and cultural needs, restrained policy and design practices within Canadian municipal parks can negatively affect the fulfillment of municipal canopy targets and urban forestry programs in general. This study provides recommendations on how municipalities can manage their urban parks to better balance a range of objectives related to recreation, arts, and culture on the one hand, and environmental services and other urban forest objectives on the other.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International