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Sustainability 2015, 7(4), 3958-3976; doi:10.3390/su7043958

Setting Priorities for Urban Forest Planning. A Comprehensive Response to Ecological and Social Needs for the Metropolitan Area of Rome (Italy)

Department of Environmental Biology, Sapienza University of Rome, P.le Aldo Moro 5, Rome 00185, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Steffen Lehmann
Received: 21 January 2015 / Revised: 19 March 2015 / Accepted: 31 March 2015 / Published: 3 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Development)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [9130 KB, uploaded 3 April 2015]   |  

Abstract

Urban forests represent key elements of green infrastructure and provide essential ecosystem services in both the ecological and social spheres. Therefore, forestation planning plays a decisive role in the sustainable development strategies of metropolitan areas and addresses the challenge of maintaining biodiversity while improving human health and well-being. The aim of this work is to present a methodological approach that can be used to identify priorities in urban forest planning and can provide comprehensive responses to ecological and social needs in any metropolitan context. The approach, which is based on interdisciplinary principles of landscape ecology, ecosystem geography and dynamic plant sociology, has been adopted in the Municipality of Rome (Italy). The first step entails defining an ecological framework for forestation plans by means of the ecological land classification and assessment of landscape conservation status. The second step entails setting forestation priorities according to both ecological and social criteria. The application of the method proved to effectively select limited areas requiring intervention within an extensive metropolitan area. Furthermore, it provided responses to sustainability issues such as long-term maintenance of restored habitats, landscape perspective of planning, greening of urban agriculture, improvement in urban resilience, and cost-effective improvement in ecosystem services provision. View Full-Text
Keywords: connectivity; ecological classification of land; ecological network; ecosystem services; green infrastructure; landscape conservation status; nature-based solutions; restoration; sustainable urban planning connectivity; ecological classification of land; ecological network; ecosystem services; green infrastructure; landscape conservation status; nature-based solutions; restoration; sustainable urban planning
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. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Capotorti, G.; Mollo, B.; Zavattero, L.; Anzellotti, I.; Celesti-Grapow, L. Setting Priorities for Urban Forest Planning. A Comprehensive Response to Ecological and Social Needs for the Metropolitan Area of Rome (Italy). Sustainability 2015, 7, 3958-3976.

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