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Chapter 1: Introduction

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ustin is an attractive and vibrant combination of its unique cultural and physical landscape. As the city has grown and changed, Austinites have voiced their love and concern for the impact of that growth and a changing climate on trees and vegetation. As the city faces an unknown future, broad comprehensive planning becomes of paramount importance to support the health and long-term vitality of our public green infrastructure resource.

WHAT IS AN URBAN FOREST? At first glance, the term “urban forest” seems like an oxymoron. A forest in a city...how could that be? To understand what we mean by urban forest, it is important to first understand the term “urban,” which is a geographic area bound by a municipal jurisdiction and containing a large concentration of people—typically 50,000 or more according to the United States Census Bureau (2013). The “forest” element consists of all trees and vegetation within an urban area regardless of public or private ownership. A city’s urban forest increases the quality of life for people residing there. The key to ensuring increased quality of life lies in maximizing the various benefits we derive from trees and vegetation located in our parks, along our streets, and in our yards.

Defining “Urban Forest” “The aggregate of all community vegetation and green spaces that provides a myriad of environmental, health, and economic benefits for a community” (Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition, 2013).

“Urban Forest encompasses all the vegetation, both public and private, within the city.” — SpeakUpAustin participant

Barton Creek

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Profile for Austin Urban Forestry Program

Austin's Urban Forest Plan: A Master Plan for Public Property  

Today, urban forests are increasingly considered an element of a much larger green infrastructure network. Within this network, the urban fo...

Austin's Urban Forest Plan: A Master Plan for Public Property  

Today, urban forests are increasingly considered an element of a much larger green infrastructure network. Within this network, the urban fo...

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