Planting forests in NYC: Is the goal restoration, reforestation, or afforestation?
Urbane Walder. 16: 30-32.
Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Detroit, New York City (NYC) and many other cities in the United States and around the world are engaging in urban greening projects. Urban greening almost always involves planting trees... lots of trees. New York City, for example, has planted over 750,000 trees to date as part of a project that started in 2007 – a project with the goal of planting 1 million trees in 10 years. Many of these trees will be street trees, which are a major component of any city tree planting program, and even though they don't feel like 'forest,' we qualify them as part of what we call the urban forest. Imagine a canopied forest in a city – a place that actually looks and feels like a forest. Is there even room, though, for a traditional forest in densely populated places like NYC? According to the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation, nearly 40 percent of the city's parkland (total 11,700 hectares) is still natural. Of that, forests make up 2,400 hectares of the total parkland. The rest is rocky shorelines, beaches, wetlands and meadows. Million Trees New York City (MTNYC) is committed to planting trees on an additional 800 hectares of city parkland as part of a reforestation effort. Their plan is to create new, small forests, in the urban setting.
Hallett, R.A. 2013. Planting forests in NYC: Is the goal restoration, reforestation, or afforestation? Urbane Walder. 16: 30-32.