“Now more than ever, trees and forests are a vital part of healthy, livable and sustainable communities and worldwide”.
This is the sense of the international program ‘Tree Cities of the World’, which is committed to inspiring, identifying and enhancing communities that make more efforts to ensure that their green heritage is looked after and managed more accurately. The initiative is promoted by FAO and Arbor Day Foundation, with the aim of creating more resilient and sustainable cities.
Until now there are 59 cities in the world, of which 23 are in the United States, that obtained this important reward. Milan, Turin and Mantua (where FAO’s first World Congress on Urban Forestry took place in November 2018) are the three Italian cities rewarded by the program.
The prestigious award was given to metropolis like New York, San Francisco e Toronto, to capitals like Dublino, Lubiana, Quito, Parigi and Erevan and to a series of medium-sized cities like Bradford in the UK, Thunder Bay in Canada and Tempe in Arizona.
“We congratulate for the award obtained by these cities – said Hiroto Mitsugi, Deputy Director-General of FAO’s Forest Department.
Together, all the Tree Cities’ mayors form a new global network of leaders who share the same values about trees and urban forests.
We are proud to recognize these cities for their initiatives in favour of healthier and greener spaces to live”.
Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation’s president, called the award-winning cities "leaders in planning and managing their urban forests.
Many of the awarded cities went far beyond the use of trees for their green infrastructure. This recognition celebrates their creativity and sustainability in favor of healthier communities ".
In addition to an effective management of urban green resources, the program ‘Tree cities of the World’ aims also to create an international network of cities, by promoting knowledge sharing and good practices for the sustainable management of urban forests and green areas.
The program ‘Tree Cities of the World’ is based on the idea that green is a source of wealth for all the living beings and that trees are essential to reduce CO2 emissions and pollution in big cities.
Therefore, it is decisive to count on trees in cities, not only to locally improve air’s quality, but also to fight against climate change.
The expected urbanization trends make the sustainable spatial planning even more important. For example, trees can reduce noises, protect water sources, prevent soil erosion and reduce energy costs for air conditioning and heating. They can also improve people health and wellness, besides being pleasant to the sight.