More than 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas, and urban natural resources are crucial to livability of cities and suburbs. Trees and other vegetation, parks and greenways, river and lake fronts, and yard trees are all elements of what is called the urban forest. Not only has the urban forest canopy cover decreased in many cities, but also cities are growing rapidly out into rural and wildland areas. In the 1990s, over 60% of new houses were built in the urban-wildland interface and older inner cities face multiple challenges such as needs for revitalization, rectification of past environmental injustices, and finding pollution mitigation techniques for “brownfields”.
The Northern Research Station (NRS) has two research units dedicated to urban forestry and urban natural resources stewardship. NRS scientists work to increase our understanding of urban forests and to develop scientific and management tools that can improve the quality of life for urban dwellers through natural resources stewardship.
- Land use and land cover change and loss of open space
- Natural resources and public health
- Neighborhood quality of life
- Sustainability and health of urban natural resources
- Monitoring and assessment of urban forests and trees
- Environmental justice
- Lifestyle behaviors, consumption patterns, and land management
- Air and water quality
Last Modified: 03/07/2012