GreenInUrbs - “Green Infrastructure approach: linking environmental with social aspects in studying and managing urban forests” (COST Action FP1204)

Green Infrastructure (GI) has recently gained prominence as a planning tool at regional and local levels. GI provides a range of ecosystem services, and new initiatives can build on state-of-the-art research and on delivery mechanisms such as urban forestry (UF). However, greater attention is needed on integrating the environmental and social benefits produced, particularly in the context of climate change adaptation and mitigation. The aim of the Action is to increase the understanding on the role of UF in the context of GI in terms of ecosystem services provision.

GI is becoming established as an urban planning mechanism and is recognized at international level as an important development in ecological and urban sustainability. Undertaking a COST Action on this topic is crucial because of the diversity of GI and UF approaches at European level and because of the need to create a structured interaction among scientists, citizens, policy makers and managers.

The ambitious goal of FP1204 will be achieved by bringing together a community of scientists with a multidisciplinary profile, ranging from ecology, ecophysiology, modeling, genetics, arboriculture, wood production, social sciences, landscape architecture, and urban planning, and who therefore have the capabilities to be able to study the relationships between UF and environmental and social ecosystem services.

Project goals

  • To increase the understanding of the role of UF in the context of GI from a scientific and a socio-economic perspective, in terms of the ecosystem services provided to people and to the urban environment
  • To identify priorities and challenges for future research in the field
  • To provide indicators and/or thresholds to be included by policy makers in local, national or international regulations about GI and UF
  • To develop guidelines for GI planners and managers on how to implement GI approaches with an emphasis on linking the environmental and social services of UF

SMHI role

To contribute for improving the understanding of the role of UF and GI on the environmental quality of urban areas, namely the effects on the Urban Heat Island (UHI) and air quality, and their direct impacts on human health and well-being.

Main Achievements

  • An interactive website
  • A database collating all scientific evidence available on the above mentioned topics
  • The results of questionnaires developed among all the countries involved in the Action
  • Guidelines for managers and private citizens which will advise on the best tree species and the best practices for the maximization of benefits from GI and UF
  • A scientific position paper to highlight research priorities and challenges regarding GI and UF
  • Implementation and diffusion of models for the estimation of the benefits derived from UF
  • A roadmap for policy makers in order to provide indicators, thresholds and tools to be included in legislation at local, national or European level regarding the governance of GI and UF
  • A Book, including all the main achievements by the different WGs


COST – European Cooperation in the field of Scientific and Technical Research

Project period


Main contact person at SMHI

Jorge H. Amorim