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Review

Three Decades of Urban Forest and Green Space Research and Practice in Croatia and Slovenia

1
Department for International Scientific Cooperation in Southeast Europe—EFISEE, Croatian Forest Research Institute, Cvjetno naselje 41, 10450 Jastrebarsko, Croatia
2
Department of Forest and Landscape Planning and Monitoring, Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
3
Department of Forest Ecology, Slovenian Forestry Institute, Večna pot 2, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Forests 2020, 11(2), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020136
Received: 30 November 2019 / Revised: 12 January 2020 / Accepted: 20 January 2020 / Published: 23 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Forest Ecology and Management)
Background and Objectives: Urban forests and green space contribute to human wellbeing. Green infrastructure is recognized by the European Union as a planning tool that contributes to the implementation of many public policies, with urban forests and green space as its main building blocks. Croatia and Slovenia are young democracies and recent members of the European Union. Hence, they also need to contribute to the implementation of those policies. Previous review studies on urban forests and green space rarely addressed scientific or professional publications in those countries. Furthermore, the body of knowledge about urban forest and green space research and practice in post-socialist countries is still rather weak. The goal of the paper is (a) to show that urban forest and green space research and practice is much stronger in these countries than it is possible to assume based only on previous review papers or only by searching Scopus and Web of Science, and (b) to describe publications written by scientists and professionals in the past 30 years. Materials and Methods: We used a trilingual systematic literature review to identify scientific and grey literature in various databases, as well as a snowballing technique, and yielded 211 publications in Croatia and 84 in Slovenia. Results: We identified many more publications on urban forests and green space science and practice in Croatia and Slovenia than it was possible to assume based only on previous review papers and when searching solely publications in English. Croatian authors showed continuity over time in terms of number of publications, while Slovenian publications have been on the rise in the past decade. In both countries, scientific papers were most frequent, and the vast majority of studies addressed capital cities. Croatian publications mainly focused on parks and park-forests, while Slovenian publications focused on urban forests. Interestingly, Croatian authors were affiliated with over 60 organizations, and in comparison to Slovenian authors, have stronger preference towards publishing in their local language. Green space planning and design followed by resource inventory were the most frequent themes. The least addressed themes in both countries were resource management, economic aspects, policy, legislation or governance. Conclusions: Important discussion in the future, especially in Croatia, would be regulation of urban forestry as a profession. Cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary studies, as well as focusing on cities other than capitals in future, can help in addressing issues such as climate change or application of participatory approaches. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban forests; urban forestry; green space; post-socialist countries; scientific and grey literature urban forests; urban forestry; green space; post-socialist countries; scientific and grey literature
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MDPI and ACS Style

Krajter Ostoić, S.; Vuletić, D.; Planinšek, Š.; Vilhar, U.; Japelj, A. Three Decades of Urban Forest and Green Space Research and Practice in Croatia and Slovenia. Forests 2020, 11, 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020136

AMA Style

Krajter Ostoić S, Vuletić D, Planinšek Š, Vilhar U, Japelj A. Three Decades of Urban Forest and Green Space Research and Practice in Croatia and Slovenia. Forests. 2020; 11(2):136. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Krajter Ostoić, Silvija, Dijana Vuletić, Špela Planinšek, Urša Vilhar, and Anže Japelj. 2020. "Three Decades of Urban Forest and Green Space Research and Practice in Croatia and Slovenia" Forests 11, no. 2: 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/f11020136

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