Urban forests and green space provide multiple benefits for urban population, such as clean air, water drainage, biodiversity conservation, climate regulation, recreational opportunities, place for socialising, aesthetics, effect on property value, etc. Recently, there is a growing awareness in both Croatia and Slovenia about need for better quality of life in urban areas that resulted among other in urban forestry being introduced in forestry high education. However, the emphasis has been so far on arboriculture and other technical aspects of tree care (health assessment, pruning techniques, stability assessment, etc.), while social aspects of urban forestry have been marginalised. It is important to understand how citizens as users of urban forests and green space use these resources, what preferences they may have towards urban forestry structure, provided infrastructure, and whether and how they are valuable to citizens. On the other side, we need to understand how public policies affect urban forests and how we can improve them, what modes of governance are acceptable and how to involve citizens in participatory process to create inclusive public spaces, including urban forests and green space. Research on this topic in both countries is in its infancy. Therefore, this project puts and emphasis on these specific aspects, and how to strengthen the cooperation between two national forest research institutes in this particular discipline.
1) to make a literature review of urban forest and green space related research in Croatia and Slovenia identify prevailing research themes, and research needs with regard to social aspects of urban forestry
2) to analyse potential calls (with emphasis on Horizon 2020 and Interreg programmes) and to make a project application in line with identified research needs and within scope of partners work up to now
3) to submit a project application.