Breakout Sessions - Friday, April 19th, 2013

Urban Forest Education

Moderator: Peter Dmytrasz, Advisor, Ontario Urban Forest Council

Peter Dmytrasz is recently retired from the City of Toronto, where he worked for over 25 years in the Forestry section. His most recent posting was Supervisor of Tree Protection & Plan review in Etobicoke York District, for City and Private tree by-law administration and collaboration with other City divisions on issues involving mitigation of adverse impacts on trees. Peter collaborated over the years with various educational and government agencies, more notably Royal Ontario Museum for the creation of a Forest Pathology display, Canadian Forest Service for the use of nematodes as an environmentally friendly Elm Leaf Beetle control strategy and Canadian Food Inspection Agency for education of Parks Forestry & Recreation and Toronto Hydro staff City-wide on Asian Long-Horned Beetle identification and reporting prior to Toronto's infestation. He enjoys working with others where forest and tree health may be compromised and speaks by request to community groups, professional organizations and academic institutions. Peter sat on the City of Mississauga's Urban Forestry Technical advisory Committee and the Heritage Tree Subcommittee of Mississauga's Heritage Advisor Committee. Peter has been a director with Ontario Shade Tree Council, now Ontario Urban Forest Council, for 15 years where he remains as Advisor, trains/tests heritage tree evaluators province wide, and sits on the evaluation board for the Heritage Tree Program in cooperation with Trees Ontario. Peter obtained his undergraduate Forestry degree from the University of Toronto.

Maria Eugenia Camargo Fernandes, PhD student at University of São Paulo, Brazil, Department of Education - “Environmental Education through a dialogue process: Building a common territory of meaning in APA Embu-Verde: an Environmental Protected Area in the metropolitan city of Sao Paulo, Brazil”

Environmental Education is such a wide field which includes Education, Participatory Process and environmental issues. This study is a part of research project which aims to analyze the relationship between people who live in an Environmental Protected Area (APA) and the environment around them in the construction of a common territory through an educational action. Situated in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, on the green belt of the city, called Biosphere Reserve by the UNESCO Program Man and the Biosphere (MAB), in the municipality of Embu das Artes, (SP, Brazil) the APA Embu Verde is a conservation unity recently created by a municipal law (n. 108/2008). This research is inserted into a bigger project called “APA Embu Verde – Social and Environmental Diagnosis”, supported by FEHIDRO (Water Resources State Fund), which is composed by multiple stakeholders and institutions including the public sector, civil society and University of São Paulo. The challenge is to investigate the relationships, sense of belonging and connections that are established between people and the environment through a dialogue process and a collective creation to read the world (Freire, 1996), looking for an educative community that’s able to recognize itself within such territory in order to conserve it. The theoretical reference has multidisciplinary sources, with the authors working on different fields, like Education and Complexity (Edgar Morin), Environmental Education (Sorrentino, Carvalho, Sauvé, Jacobi), Participation in a territoriality approach (Alberto Magnaghi). The methodologies used in the Environmental Education process are innovative such as Diagnosis Walks, Participative Maps and The World Café: a method of dialogue and collective creation around questions that matter (Brown, 2007, Franco, 2010). The analysis will be based on hermeneutics, a symbolic interpretation with an anthropological approach (Ferreira Santos, 2006) in the field of Anthropology of Education in a multirreference approach (Ardoino).

I am Brazilian Biologist and I have been worked in environmental area for almost 20 years, with NGOs, companies and universities working on the outskirts of Sao Paulo, dealing with projects that had as its goal the educators training for social and environmental challenges. I am a Master in Environmental Sciences studying the Water resources issues in metropolitan region of Sao Paulo and the participation challenges at environmental public policies. I became a university professor in a specialization course for environmental educators. I also worked in a large institution in the area of Education, Culture and Leisure, coordinating the educational projects, organizing exhibitions and courses integrating culture, environment and education, in an interdisciplinary perspective. Now I am working in my doctorate project: “Building a territory of meaning through dialogue: an educative praxis analysis at the “APA Embu Verde”, an Environment Protected Area at Embu das Artes, São Paulo, Brazil, at the University of Sao Paulo.

Dana Craig, Environmental Studies Librarian, Reference, Scott Library, York University - “The Good, the Bad and the Necessary of Education”

“Sustainability”, “environmentalism”, “managing our resources”, “urban ecology” are all terms that have become very popular in our society and there is an abundance of resources that one can access on these themes. We can learn about them from the web, television, articles, journals, books and a variety of media outlets. Where do credibility, validity and critical interpretation come into the conversation? What about “the right resources”? What does that mean and how can academia make better choices when it comes to repositories, journals and “spreading the word”? As educators in this field, how can we impart information in a way that our students are engaged and excited about the subject and how can we attract the best students to advance the field of knowledge? This discussion will look at traditional and new library roles and methods of engagement, experiential education, publishing and making information available and accessible to students, faculty, researchers and community.

Dana Craig is the Environmental Studies Liaison Librarian at York University. The interdisciplinary nature of Environmental Studies at York University allows her to be involved in many initiatives including those dealing with her background in geophysics, geography and physical environment. She teaches information literacy classes and promotes thinking critically about information and resources. Her goal is to further environmental advocacy inside, as well as outside academia.

Tim Hall, MICFor, Operations Manager, The Woodland Trust Scotland - “Outdoor Learning in West Lothian’s Urban Woodlands: The Woodland Trust Experience”

The Woodland Trust is the UK’s leading woodland conservation charity. We have over 300,000 members and supporters, 300 full time staff and have three key aims: To enable the creation of more native woods and places rich in trees; To help protect and restore native woods, trees and their wildlife for the future; To inspire everyone to enjoy and value woods and trees. We deliver these objectives through a number of mechanisms including  our own woodlands, which number over 1,000 individual sites, covering approximately 20,000 hectares (8,500 ha in Scotland). Many of these sites are within or close to towns and cities and all are managed for people and wildlife. All our estate is managed according to FSC (UKWAS) standards, with sustainable management and community engagement being core to our approach. West Lothian is part of the Central Belt of Scotland, the most densely populated part of Scotland with around 80% of Scotland’s entire population. West Lothian represents a post industrial landscape with significant areas  scoring as ‘most deprived’ in the UK Index of Multiple Deprivation. The Woodland Trust owns a significant amount of woodland in West Lothian, concentrated particularly in and around Livingston, West Lothian’s largest settlement. Branching Out West Lothian encapsulated the Woodland Trust’s strongly held belief that an inspirational experience of the environment at a young age can leave a lasting connection with nature. Over the course of the three years the project aimed to make the Trust’s landholding in West Lothian more welcoming and encourage local people to get out and enjoy woodland for learning and leisure. In particular it aimed to work with local schools to develop a Woodland Learning Programme which would inspire teachers to educate children outside in the  woods. The project successfully changed many local residents negative perceptions about their woodlands and teachers perceptions that  the outdoor classroom is only for teaching children about natural history and local. In particular the project: Gave skills and confidence to primary school teachers in outdoor learning through CPD training; Provided ongoing support for primary school teachers in the production of locally focused resource materials; Built sustained wider community engagement through close partnership working; Encouraged and supported independent/informal engagement through the provision of maps, leaflets and audio guides to encourage more people who would not normally visit the woods.

Tim Hall is a professional forester with well over 20 years experience in urban forestry at both a practical management level and a strategic and policy level. Overall responsibility for all our sites and associated activities across Scotland, managing a team of 11 professional Site and Project Managers. He sits on a number of government urban advisory advisory groups including the Urban Woodland Advisory Group which advises the Scottish government on it strategic directions for urban forestry. Tim is one of three external judges on the Woods In and Around Towns (WIAT) and Forestry for People (F4P) challenge funds since their inception. These grants are aimed at encouraging better management of urban woodlands in Scotland and since their inception in 2005, have invested over £50 million into Scotland urban woodlands and communities.

New Governance Structures in Urban Forestry

Moderator: Robert M. Ricard, Human Dimensions of Natural Resources, Department of Natural Resources & the Environment, University of Connecticut

Bob Ricard is at the University of Connecticut with a joint appointment with the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment and UCONN Extension. Bob holds a Ph.D. in forest resources and public policy from the University of Massachusetts. He teaches “Human dimensions of natural resources” and specializes in urban forest policy and governance. Bob has also conducted urban forestry outreach and research for 22 years. He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters.

Natalie Marie Gulsrud, PhD Fellow, Danish Center for Forest, Landscape and Planning, University of Copenhagen, Can Seng Ooi, Associate Professor, Copenhagen Business School, Department of International Economics and Management - “Three shades of green: Singapore’s shift from urban green space government to governance”

The overall purpose of the presented study is to better understand how the “green city” place brand has impacted the landscape of urban green space governance by means of examining the Southeast Asian city/state of Singapore. In an increasingly global economy, cities are crafting environmentally sustainable profiles to compete for resources such as talent, innovation, and creativity. Being ‘green,’ or having an environmentally sustainable place brand, provides a competitive advantage and is seemingly a requirement for the neo-liberal city. Singapore, long known as “the garden city,” has been a leader in green city branding since the founding of this equatorial city-state in 1965, contributing, in large part, to Singapore’s success as the economic giant of Southeast Asia. A study of Singapore’s increasingly entrepreneurial governance since the 1960’s shows how the terms green and sustainable have been applied in diverse and contradictory ways in the garden city branding campaign. The study was directed by the main hypothesis that Singapore’s green city brand discourse reveals shifts in the city-state’s urban green space decision making demonstrating a subtle move from top-down governance by government to top-down governance with government. Using a political ecology lens, the paper aims to uncover the meaning (s) of ‘green’ by examining the evolution of the garden city branding scheme since the founding of the country in 1965. An analysis of the involvement of the private sector and citizens in the garden city campaign sheds light on the political and social impacts of Singapore’s green city brand on urban green space governance over time. The results call attention to the critical role of urban green spaces in neo-liberal urban governance and illustrate different models of urban green space governance.

Presenter Bio: Natalie Marie Gulsrud is a PhD fellow at Forest & Landscape, University of Copenhagen researching the role of urban green space in green city branding campaigns in Denmark and abroad. Her interest in the interdisciplinary field of urban greening stems from a broader academic and professional passion for making cities more liveable places.

Helene Littke, PhD Candidate, Department of Urban Planning and Environment, Division of Urban and Regional Studies, Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden - “Social and Psychological Benefits of Urban Trees and Urban Green Space: From perceived benefit to policy value.”

The public place is the stage for urban social life and the interrelation between place and quality of life can be investigated in the connection between behaviour patterns and physical features. Urban trees and greenery are ascribed a multitude of social and psychological benefits which are important as they contribute to the wellbeing of urban dwellers. From an urban design perspective the main goal of any project is to create places to improve the users’ quality of life, and by prescribing wellbeing benefits to urban trees and greenery their role in the promotion of vibrant, sustainable neighbourhoods is discussed. The main concern of this paper is to discuss the inclusion of social and psychological benefits in policy and planning by looking at the development process of the steering documentThe Green Walkable City, in Stockholm Sweden. The document is aiming to support the development of Stockholm urban greenery and to be the conceptual backbone for a future new park program in close connected to the comprehensive plan, The Walkable City from 2010. From the point of view of social and behavioural/use perspective of urban trees and greenery, if, how, by whom and to what extent are social and psychological issues discussed in the document and on-going public consultation The Green Walkable City? The discussion points to that the overarching goals of the strategies are directly connected to social and psychological issues (community, accessibility, health, mood etc.) but the intangibility of these aspects can explain the weak focus on the actual social and psychological benefits when it comes to implementation and practical management. Or are these values intrinsic in their very nature; could a critical view on the policies show an indirect focus on social and psychological benefits of urban trees and greenery?

Helene Littke is a PhD candidate in Urban Design at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, with the doctoral fellowship from Ax:son Johnson Foundation. Helene has a master’s degree in urban planning and engineering and is now involved in the research project Urban Form and Social Behavior focusing her work on the role of green urban space and trees in the development of vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods. Special interests are the social and cultural aspects of urban greenery; place attachment, emotional values and cognitive effects related to the provision and quality of urban green as important components in the use of urban public space.

Blake Hudson, Associate Professor, Joint Appointment, LSU Law Center, School of the Coast and Environment, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States - “Subnational Forest Policy, Regional Governance Culture, & Global Climate Change”

The U.S. and Canada control 15% of the world’s forests, the preservation of which is crucial to combating climate change. Even so, the southeastern U.S. is projected to lose 23 million forest acres by 2060—largely due to increased urbanization—while Canada is estimated to lose over 11 million forest acres. These losses are significant considering that forest destruction and degradation are responsible for nearly 20% of global carbon emissions. Because the U.S. and Canadian constitutions reserve subnational forest management regulatory authority for states and provinces—and local and municipal governments in many circumstances—federal regulatory inputs on most forestland is severely limited. Canadian provinces own 77% of Canadian forests, though they do maintain fairly stringent management standards. U.S. state forest policy, however, varies greatly by region. States in the Pacific Northwest, where 67% of forests are publicly owned, maintain high standards. Southeastern U.S. states, where 86% of forests are privately owned, maintain only weak, voluntary “guidelines.” Though overlooked by scholars, governance culture is impacted not only by regional political differences—the southeastern U.S. being more politically conservative and resistant to regulation generally—but also by the distribution of forest ownership between private and public entities. The interests of civil society in Canadian provinces and northwestern U.S. states are aligned with the benefits that public forests provide the entire citizenry, while in the southeastern U.S. civil society consists mostly of private forest owners resistant to government interference. This paper seeks to better understand the impacts that decentralization, regional governance culture, and politics have on subnational forest policy in the U.S. and Canada, particularly in urban areas, and how they might be adjusted to craft more robust subnational and urban forest policies not only to avoid forest losses, but also to increase forest coverage to more effectively combat climate change.

Faculty profile: Blake Hudson, Associate Professor

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