Increasing recognition of the importance of urban forest ecosystem services calls for the sustainable management of urban forests, which requires timely and accurate information on the status, trends and interactions between socioeconomic and ecological processes pertaining to urban forests. In this regard, remote sensing, especially with its recent advances in sensors and data processing methods, has emerged as a premier and useful observational and analytical tool. This study summarises recent remote sensing applications in urban forestry from the perspective of three distinctive themes: multi-source, multi-temporal and multi-scale inputs. It reviews how different sources of remotely sensed data offer a fast, replicable and scalable way to quantify urban forest dynamics at varying spatiotemporal scales on a case-by-case basis. Combined optical imagery and LiDAR data results as the most promising among multi-source inputs; in addition, future efforts should focus on enhancing data processing efficiency. For long-term multi-temporal inputs, in the event satellite imagery is the only available data source, future work should improve haze-/cloud-removal techniques for enhancing image quality. Current attention given to multi-scale inputs remains limited; hence, future studies should be more aware of scale effects and cautiously draw conclusions.
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