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Module DXX-4536:
Urban Forestry

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Organiser: Dr Eefke Mollee

Overall aims and purpose

This module develops an understanding of the principles and practice of urban forestry around the world. It provides an historical overview of the relationships between trees and cities and its importance as an emerging field of study. It further covers how different disciplines relate to urban forestry and looks at future scenarios of retrofitting the old as well as designing future cities.

Course content

We explore the unique characteristics of trees in the urban environment. The module begins with an introduction into the relationships between cities and trees by providing a historical overview and classifying the different types of urban forestry. We will then look into the different disciplines related to urban forestry, such as ecosystem services and wellbeing. Before moving on to different tools and techniques that can be used to measure and evaluate urban forestry, as well as looking at management aspects. The module will also have guest speakers from the field and provides insights through case studies. In the final unit, we will consider how all the above knowledge can be used to design future cities, addressing issues of retrofitting old cities and designing new sustainable cities.

Summary of course content: - Historical overview of the relationships between trees and cities - Classification of types of urban green - Urban ecology and ecosystem services - Urban green and wellbeing - Modelling urban forests - Urban forestry management and planning - Future cities

Assessment Criteria


Achieve an A grade overall for the module. In addition to the above, be able to present well reasoned arguments for and against particular approaches to planting trees in cities. Present clear evidence of wide reading around the subject and an ability to combine elements of urban forestry in urban designs.


Be able to demonstrate knowledge of urban forestry concepts and systems with few factual errors, and how the different components interact. Be able to list the various stakeholders. Be able to collate and synthesise material for a case study and present it, orally or in written form, to a descriptive level.


In addition to above, demonstrate an ability to think critically about the roles of the various stakeholders and the key interactions between people and trees in the urban environment.

Learning outcomes

  1. Show an understanding of the complexities of the urban environment by being able to identify stakeholders in the developments of green cities.

  2. Be able to identify and classify different types of urban forestry.

  3. Be able to combine elements of urban forestry in the design of sustainable future cities.

  4. Be able to evaluate key interactions between people, plants and cities, whether they are ecological, socio-economical or psychological.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Forum discussions 30
Video assignment 30
Proposal of your future city 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy

Practical classes and workshops 6
External visit

For residential students an urban forestry site will be visited, i.e. Merseyside forest or Birmingham. DL students will be encouraged to look up information from their nearest city (or the one they are in) and if possible go for a visit and share their city's greening policy.


Lectures delivered face-to-face for residential students and on-line via Panopto for distance learning students. Recordings will also be available via Blackboard.

Private study

Personal study to support material delivered in lectures, field site visits and seminars.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • PS1 Communication skills, covering both written and oral communication with a variety of audiences
  • PS2 Skills in the employment of common conventions and standards in scientific writing, data presentation, and referencing literature
  • PS3 Problem-solving skills, relating to qualitative and quantitative information
  • PS5 Information location and retrieval skills, in relation to primary and secondary information sources, and the ability to assess the quality of information accessed
  • PS7 Basic interpersonal skills, relating to the ability to interact with other people and to engage in teamworking
  • PS8 Time management and organisational skills, as evidenced by the ability to plan and implement efficient and effective ways of working
  • PS11 Problem-solving skills including the demonstration of self-direction, initiative and originality
  • PS6 Information technology skills which support the location, management, processing, analysis and presentation of scientific information
  • SK9 Read and engage with scientific literature
  • SK11. Reading and engaging with scientific literature.
  • SK13. Making oral presentations and writing reports, including critical evaluation.

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: