Vancouver urban trees

Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices

Chapter 12. Management of Urban Woodlots and Parks

Return to the Compendium homepage here:
Compendium of Best Urban Forest Management Practices →

Management of Urban Woodlots and Parks

Urban woodlots and parks provide wildlife habitat, maintain soil and water quality, help cities to mitigate and adapt to climate change, are aesthetically appealing, and provide recreation to millions of people. There are a number of factors that forest managers must consider in the management of wooded areas in an urban context. They include:

  • Forest soil compaction: using techniques to restrict traffic in urban woodlots to specific roads and trails
  • Invasive species: controlling non-native invasive plant species from displacing native vegetation
  • Safety: recognizing hazardous trees and removing them to keep wooded areas safe for people as well as employing techniques to ensure that sight lines are maintained within wooded areas to ensure visitors have a safe and happy experience
  • Climate change: urban parks can be designed to help society adapt to climate change by providing shade and a cooler environment on hot days, reducing the danger of heat stress

Management practices include planting buffer strips to mitigate compaction, pruning to clear sight lines and implementing monitoring programs. Future climate conditions may need to be considered when managing parks and woodlots (Brown, Vanos, Kenny, & Lenzholzer, 2015).

Canadian online resources for woodlot management:

Canadian online resources for urban park management:

Non-Canadian online resources:

Further reading:

Brown, R. D., Vanos, J., Kenny, N., & Lenzholzer, S. (2015). Designing urban parks that ameliorate the effects of climate change. Landscape and Urban Planning, 138, 118-131.

Klemm, W., van Hove, B., Lenzholzer, S., & Kramer, H. (2017). Towards guidelines for designing parks of the future. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, 21, 134-145.

Miller, R. W., Hauser, R. J., & Werner, L. P. (2015). Urban Forestry: Planning and Managing Urban Greenspaces (3rd ed.). Long Grove, IL: Waveland Press, Inc.


Connect with the largest network of urban forest professionals in Canada