MillionTreesNYC Symposium Content Available Online

The Cities and the Environment website provides information on the latest research in urban ecology science.

On-line access to the latest urban ecology science is available in a special issue of Cities and the Environment (CATE).

The issue features peer-reviewed articles and poster abstracts resulting from last year’s MillionTreesNYC, Green Infrastructure and Urban Ecology Symposium, and includes topics ranging from urban pollinator communities to civic engagement in urban forestry.

CATE is published in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service with support from Loyola Marymount University and Boston College. The journal publishes peer-reviewed scholarship on urban ecology research and urban ecology education.

“As the United States population becomes increasingly urban, it is important to understand the benefits provided by urban ecosystems and also the challenges faced by environmental managers in maintaining these resources,” said Erika Svendsen, a research social scientist with the Forest Service's Northern Research Station. “On-line access to MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium results is a tremendous tool that will enhance our understanding of the urban environment.”

MillionTreesNYC is a citywide, public-private initiative between the City of New York/Parks & Recreation and New York Restoration Project, with an ambitious goal: to plant and care for one million new trees across New York City’s five boroughs by 2017. Since MillionTreesNYC was launched in October 2007, more than 430,000 trees have been planted.

The special issue of CATE examines various topics, including public reactions to new street tree plantings, the effect of the MillionTreesNYC reforestation effort on the structure and functioning of the city’s ecosystems, New York City as a case study for strategies that can be applied broadly to other municipalities, street tree mortality, and prioritization of planting locations to increase urban tree canopy. The issue includes papers featuring other cities such as engaging Chicago residents in climate change action.

“Over the past few years, MillionTreesNYC has hosted presentations on urban tree canopy and assessment, collaborated on research proposals, provided feedback to our colleagues on current research, convened workshops and field trips, and developed a research agenda,” according to Jacqueline Lu, director of Research & Analysis at the NYC Department of Parks & Recreation. “Our primary motivation is to improve communication between researchers and practitioners, and leverage this ambitious tree-planting initiative as an opportunity to learn more about our urban ecosystem.”

The MillionTreesNYC Research Symposium was organized by the MillionTreesNYC Subcommittee on Research and Evaluation, which includes members from the New School, Cornell University, New York University, Sound Science, New York Restoration Project, New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, and the NYC Urban Field Station. The USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation jointly operate the New York City Urban Field Station, which is both a physical place to conduct research and a network of relationships among a growing number of scientists, practitioners, university collaborators and facilities focused on urban ecology.