10 Best Cities for Urban Forests

A few weeks ago, non-profit American Forests released their list of the 10 Best Cities for Urban Forests. Many deserving cities made the list, but to me it seemed like something important was missing from the judging criteria.

The list included AustinCharlotteDenverMilwaukeeMinneapolisNew YorkPortland,SacramentoSeattle, and Washington, D.C. These cities were chosen based on the following six criteria:

–          Civic engagement in mainlining the urban forest;

–          Urban forest strategies and city greening to address city infrastructure challenges;

–          Accessibility of urban forest and greenspaces to the public;

–          Overall health and condition of the city’s urban forest;

–          Document knowledge about its urban forests; and

–          Urban forest management plans and management activities

The project was funded by the U.S. Forest Service, and American Forests worked with a panel of urban forest experts to identify the above criteria. They then determined which cities were “the best” by looking at independent data as well as survey responses about urban forest practices gathered by American Forests, and evaluating how they measured up.