Trees: The Key to Climate Proofing Our Cities

Venue: The Royal Geographical Society, Kensington, London


Temperatures in UK cities are predicted to rise by 3-7°C by the end of the century. Research indicates that a 10% increase in urban tree cover would completely neutralise this impact. According to the Trees in Towns II study, trees are being lost at an alarming rate and urban deforestation is offering a hot future for city life.

With better co-ordination and within existing government guidance and management mechanisms it is possible to achieve the level of canopy cover that will make the difference. This requires a strategy that, wherever possible, all large trees are conserved and planning and design ensure that we grow trees successfully to become big trees with big canopies.

This pioneering conference brought together a wide range of speakers to explore practical possibilities to reverse tree loss within the current planning framework. Our aim is to drive an initiative to achieve the required canopy increase. This can be done but only through the widest possible involvement between all relevant stakeholders, professions, government organisations, citizens groups, etc.


CONFERENCE ORGANISERS underlying philosophy

Developing a culture that increases tree canopy through inter-professional cooperation


Neville Fay (Treework Environmental Practice)
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Jeremy Barrell (Barrell Tree Consultancy)
The UK urban canopy initiative: what is it, why is it important and what can we all do to help?
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Prof. Chris Baines (Broadcaster, Government Adviser on Environmental Matters)
Amenity, survival & common sense: The importance of large trees in the urban and rural landscape - if it’s all so obvious, why no change?
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Dr. Roland Ennos (Manchester, Faculty of Life Sciences)
Trees and human security: The research basis for the claim that trees can climate proof our cities

James Urban (James Urban & Associates and DeepRoot, USA)
Soil management innovation, planting & establishment: A view of structural tree soil, planting design innovation

Richard Simmons (CABE CEO)
Trees in Towns II: The significance of this report for urban environmental quality

Martin Kelly (MD Capita Lovejoy)
Trees & Design Action Group: A multi-disciplinary model for promoting large structural trees in the urban landscape
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Prof. Jan Cermak (Brno University)
Trees and water relations: Whole tree modelling – The role of trees in the urban environment. Climate and hydrological control

Keith Sacre (Barcham Trees)
The nursery perspective:From research to producing what is reliably needed for the future

Prof. Helga Fassbinder (Urban Planning & Management, Netherlands)
Paris and Amsterdam: Flagship examples of urban green initiatives in Europe

Peter Thurman (The Thurman Consultancy)
The landscape architect, architect and planner - designing with trees: Why the current framework is failing to deliver in many cases.
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John Young (Engineer)
Extending the SUDS model to trees, hydrology and drainage:  An engineering perspective on the role of design and planning

Richard Nicholson (Arboricultural Consultant)
Being strategic within the planning framework:  Small changes in emphasis, big changes in practice

Prof. David Ball (Middlesex University, DARM)
Tree-related risks – a perspective from the Stern Report:  Comparing risks from trees to people with risks to people from removing trees

Jim Smith (London Trees and Woodlands Framework Officer)
London Urban Initiatives:  A model approach to sustainable urban forestry services
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