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Assessing Urban Forest Structure, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Benefits on Vacant Land

Landscape Architecture Program, Arizona State University, PO Box 871605, Tempe, AZ 85287-1605, USA
Academic Editor: Thomas Seifert
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 679; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070679
Received: 5 March 2016 / Revised: 8 July 2016 / Accepted: 13 July 2016 / Published: 16 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Decision Support for Forest Ecosystem Management Sustainability)
An urban forest assessment is essential for developing a baseline from which to measure changes and trends. The most precise way to assess urban forests is to measure and record every tree on a site, but although this may work well for relatively small populations (e.g., street trees, small parks), it is prohibitively expensive for large tree populations. Thus, random sampling offers a cost-effective way to assess urban forest structure and the associated ecosystem services for large-scale assessments. The methodology applied to assess ecosystem services in this study can also be used to assess the ecosystem services provided by vacant land in other urban contexts and improve urban forest policies, planning, and the management of vacant land. The study’s findings support the inclusion of trees on vacant land and contribute to a new vision of vacant land as a valuable ecological resource by demonstrating how green infrastructure can be used to enhance ecosystem health and promote a better quality of life for city residents. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecosystem service assessment; urban forestry; i-Tree; green infrastructure ecosystem service assessment; urban forestry; i-Tree; green infrastructure
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Kim, G. Assessing Urban Forest Structure, Ecosystem Services, and Economic Benefits on Vacant Land. Sustainability 2016, 8, 679.

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