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Sustainability 2010, 2(6), 1510-1522; doi:10.3390/su2061510

Interpreting Sustainability for Urban Forests

*  and
School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Dalhousie University, 6100 University Avenue, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3J5, Canada
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 16 April 2010 / Revised: 4 May 2010 / Accepted: 27 May 2010 / Published: 1 June 2010
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Incisive interpretations of urban-forest sustainability are important in furthering our understanding of how to sustain the myriad values associated with urban forests. Our analysis of earlier interpretations reveals conceptual gaps. These interpretations are attached to restrictive definitions of a sustainable urban forest and limited to a rather mechanical view of maintaining the biophysical structure of trees. The probing of three conceptual domains (urban forest concepts, sustainable development, and sustainable forest management) leads to a broader interpretation of urban-forest sustainability as the process of sustaining urban forest values through time and across space. We propose that values—and not services, benefits, functions or goods—is a superior concept to refer to what is to be sustained in and by an urban forest.
Keywords: sustainability; urban forest; urban-forest sustainability; urban forest management sustainability; urban forest; urban-forest sustainability; urban forest management
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Ordóñez, C.; Duinker, P.N. Interpreting Sustainability for Urban Forests. Sustainability 2010, 2, 1510-1522.

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