Importance, Utilization and Health of Urban Forests: A Review
Keywords:benefits, ecosystem, environment, functions, services, urban areas
Urbanization and development of cities are rapidly increasing across the world and urban forests constitute important tools that maintain the basic environmental and ecological functions of cities on which plant, animal and human existence depend. This paper presents a literature review on importance, utilization and health of urban forests that are important in providing ecosystem services for the sustainability of cities. Analysis of the literature from the main academic resources databases indicates that urban forest is a dynamic system which includes trees, shrubs, green space, soil and water that supports them. Urban forests provide many functions, services and benefits which are needed for the sustainable development of urban areas. In addition, health and appearance of trees’ composition are the most important factors in determining a city’s visual image and quality of life. Thus, urban forests are an important component of an ecosystem in any community development. Furthermore, management of urban forests can increase their potentials and therefore their functions, services and benefits. Green infrastructure and ecosystem services are the most efficient tools that cities can utilise to remain healthy, robust and liveable. Hence, the planners, architects, engineers, foresters, agriculturists and all those involved in decision making should be utilized the present literature review and incorporate the concept of urban forest in their plans and programs so as to achieve the sustainability of cities.
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