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INSIGHTS INTO OUR WORLD

Presenting curiosities about nature and interesting facets about our cities, with an emphasis on the fundamental role forests play in protecting our planet. This series also includes summaries of our events, workshops and activities. Contact us if you have a story to share. Discover more here:

Ya’axtal, the Green Lungs of Mérida

Ya’axtal, the Green Lungs of Mérida

In 2019 Mérida’s mayor, Renán Barrera Concha, set in motion an environmental initiative called Ya’axtal (“regreen” in Mérida’s local Mayan) [...]

Climate Resilience: Dublin Responds With Nature-Based Solutions

Climate Resilience: Dublin Responds With Nature-Based Solutions

The effects of climate change are already significantly impacting Dublin City, and are expected to increase in frequency and intensity in the [...]

A Sacred Leaf Garden in Pedra de Xangô

A Sacred Leaf Garden in Pedra de Xangô

Labelled a protected geological site since 2017, Pedra de Xangô (Xangô Stone) is a natural rock formation near the city of Salvador, in the State [...]

City Of Trees: Growing More Trees For Greater Manchester

City Of Trees: Growing More Trees For Greater Manchester

The ground-breaking movement aims to plant three million trees; one for every man, woman and child living in Greater Manchester, UK. Launched [...]

Under Threat: Europe’s Old-Growth Forests

Under Threat: Europe’s Old-Growth Forests

On 21 March people worldwide celebrate the UN International Day of Forests (#IntForestDay). Forests are essential for life on Earth: [...]

Connecting The Dots To Sustainable Land Use

Connecting The Dots To Sustainable Land Use

Ligue os Pontos is a project that promotes sustainable land development in São Paulo by strengthening agriculture in the main rural area of the [...]

Why city-dwellers should care about forests

Why city-dwellers should care about forests

Trees in urban areas make people healthier and happier. Trees shade city streets and parks raise property values. Trees provide cooling shade and [...]

Forests Simply Provide Better Health

Forests Simply Provide Better Health

72% of Europeans live in a city or urban area. Bettering the quality of life, forests have huge value in the urban environment. Everyone has a [...]

The Cities4Forests Toolbox: Connecting Cities with Tools to Understand and Manage Forests

The Cities4Forests Toolbox: Connecting Cities with Tools to Understand and Manage Forests

Mérida, a city in Mexico’s lush Yucatán Peninsula, is home to 2.3 million trees, which cover over 20 percent of the metropolitan area. Merida’s [...]

Expanding Urban Tree Valuation Capacity in Latin American Cities

Expanding Urban Tree Valuation Capacity in Latin American Cities

Around 25 representatives from the cities of Guadalajara, Mexico City, Culiacán, Mérida, León, and two Brazilian cities, Palmas and São Paulo, [...]

Rio Branco Lets Graffiti Rule The Streets

Rio Branco Lets Graffiti Rule The Streets

Urban culture is important to Rio Branco, since 2007 the city has managed to bring together urban artists in hip-hop, graffiti, break, rap, skate, [...]

Cities4Forests @ COP25: Community Climate Action

Cities4Forests @ COP25: Community Climate Action

As part of the 25th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP25) in Madrid, Spain, [...]

From Mangroves to Tin Roofs: Fiji Uses Built and Natural Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation

From Mangroves to Tin Roofs: Fiji Uses Built and Natural Infrastructure for Climate Adaptation

The sea around Lautoka City, Fiji’s second-largest urban area, is rising 6 millimeters per year. The people of Taiperia Village, an informal [...]

A 5-Step Plan to Protect and Restore Indonesia’s Forests

A 5-Step Plan to Protect and Restore Indonesia’s Forests

A version of this post originally appeared at Jakarta Post. The most recent global survey of tree cover released by Global Forest Watch [...]

Friday Fun: How 2 Urban Communities Are Protecting Their Trees

Friday Fun: How 2 Urban Communities Are Protecting Their Trees

As they rapidly develop, many cities around the globe continue to clear urban forests for grey infrastructure. Indeed, roads, buildings and other [...]

Bridging the Gap Between Climate Adaptation and Equity: TheCityFix Labs Mexico

Bridging the Gap Between Climate Adaptation and Equity: TheCityFix Labs Mexico

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report on the prospects for staying under 1.5 degrees of warming is a call to action [...]

How trees helped close the flood gates of Kochi

How trees helped close the flood gates of Kochi

The massive floods in Kerala these last two years are a powerful wakeup call, which have forced us to reckon with several truths:  Extreme [...]

The City of Arborly Love

The City of Arborly Love

Philadelphia, coined the City of Brotherly Love, is home to a park system of 10,500 acres of which 5,600 acres are natural lands.   [...]

Forests and Wetlands Are Water Infrastructure. New Green Bond Helps Finance Their Protection

Forests and Wetlands Are Water Infrastructure. New Green Bond Helps Finance Their Protection

East Africa’s Kariba Dam is almost empty due to diminishing rains. In Brazil, Sao Paulo’s reservoirs were reduced to [...]

We’re Grossly Underestimating the World’s Water Access Crisis

We’re Grossly Underestimating the World’s Water Access Crisis

In Cape Town, South Africa, and Chennai, India, “Day Zero” events where cities run out of water have drawn global media [...]

Vienna’s green and free spaces grow

Vienna’s green and free spaces grow

Integrating forests and trees in urban development is a top priority for the city of Vienna. In fact one could say that they have been at the [...]

Building the first Cities4Forests Bridge in Quito: A model for climate-friendly infrastructure

Building the first Cities4Forests Bridge in Quito: A model for climate-friendly infrastructure

Quito, Ecuador  Cities4Forests presented a pilot project at the Jardin Botanico’s International Orchid Exhibition on 3-6 October [...]

4 Emerging Concepts that Could Transform Cities

4 Emerging Concepts that Could Transform Cities

Big ideas can forever alter the fate of cities when they are written into cement, steel and stone. When St. Petersburg, Russia was created in 1703 [...]

Planting Healthy Air: A Natural Solution to Address Pollution and Heat in Cities

Planting Healthy Air: A Natural Solution to Address Pollution and Heat in Cities

Can nature help cities address the twin problems of air that is too dirty or too hot? Based on a new report released by The Nature Conservancy [...]

Every Tree Matters: Brazilian Cities Prioritize Urban Restoration

Every Tree Matters: Brazilian Cities Prioritize Urban Restoration

In addition to counting people, cars and kilometers of infrastructure, cities today are counting trees. Urban forests are another tool to [...]

Bringing a Quarry Back to Life

Bringing a Quarry Back to Life

Campinas was once called the ‘Princess of the West’ mainly because it was the productive centre of the region being rich in citrus, coffee and [...]

Cities From Across the World are Tapping Nature-Based Solutions to Address Water Crises

Cities From Across the World are Tapping Nature-Based Solutions to Address Water Crises

Water is an essential ingredient to the functioning of our cities, growth of our economies, and health of our urban residents. Yet, according to [...]

The Other Brazilian Rainforest: Why Restoring the Atlantic Forest Can Help Tackle Climate Change

The Other Brazilian Rainforest: Why Restoring the Atlantic Forest Can Help Tackle Climate Change

Everyone knows how important the Amazon rainforest is. The region is often in the international news, sometimes because of its diverse species, [...]

Debunking Myths: 5 Things to Know About Green Infrastructure

Debunking Myths: 5 Things to Know About Green Infrastructure

More than 600 million people lack clean drinking water. Drought affects more than 35 million every year. And by 2050, 1.3 billion [...]

Antalya’s Natural Wonders

Antalya’s Natural Wonders

East of Antalya, the Düden River flows from the magnificent Taurus Mountains down to the Mediterranean Sea. Pomponius Mela, the [...]

Nature in the Urban Century: Cities can offer Solutions for Biodiversity Loss – if We Act now

Nature in the Urban Century: Cities can offer Solutions for Biodiversity Loss – if We Act now

This century will be remembered as the urban century. Our generation will witness the most significant urban growth in human history. By 2050, [...]

The World Lost a Belgium-sized Area of Primary Rainforests Last Year

The World Lost a Belgium-sized Area of Primary Rainforests Last Year

The tropics lost 12 million hectares of tree cover in 2018, the fourth-highest annual loss since record-keeping began in 2001. Of greatest concern [...]

45 Cities Pursue a New Urban Strategy: Protecting Forests Near and Far

45 Cities Pursue a New Urban Strategy: Protecting Forests Near and Far

Most people don’t associate cities with trees, but urban areas are actually dependent on healthy forests. Trees within cities reduce heat, provide [...]

Wood as a First Choice Building Material. What are the Benefits?

Wood as a First Choice Building Material. What are the Benefits?

Wood is becoming the global building material for innovative urban construction. Dozens of cities, like Toronto, London, Vienna, Vancouver, Tokyo [...]

From the Industrial Revolution to the Green Revolution

From the Industrial Revolution to the Green Revolution

Manchester was a leading city of the industrial revolution, acquiring the nickname of Cottonopolis due to its important textile [...]

Rediscovering the Lost Puma in Primavera Forest

Rediscovering the Lost Puma in Primavera Forest

Portland’s reputation as a bike-friendly city was enhanced by The Yellow Bike Project, a civic engagement action that in 1994 distributed 100 [...]

The Majestic Volcano Seen from Seattle

The Majestic Volcano Seen from Seattle

Mount Rainier, an active volcano of 4,392 meters, stands as an icon of the Washington landscape. On August 8, 1888, the famous [...]

A River Runs Through Detroit

A River Runs Through Detroit

Rapid expansion in Detroit over the last century has meant high levels of pollution for the city’s river. The situation was so critical at one [...]

The Andean Bear: An Emblem of Quito

The Andean Bear: An Emblem of Quito

A few years ago, a three-month-old orphaned bear cub in poor health, was rescued in the subtropical forests of Quito, Ecuador. The cub [...]

Latin American Cities Add their Voices to a Growing Movement to Protect and Restore Forests

Latin American Cities Add their Voices to a Growing Movement to Protect and Restore Forests

Cities4Forests sent three Latin American city representatives to the Initiative 20×20 Annual Partners Meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At [...]

Wood Urbanism: The Power of Procurement for Forests

Wood Urbanism: The Power of Procurement for Forests

On 23 May 2019, Cities4Forests led an interactive workshop on “Wood Urbanism” as part of the Urban Future Global Conference that was held in [...]

Plant a Tree this Arbor Day! The Festival of Planting

Plant a Tree this Arbor Day! The Festival of Planting

Arbor day celebrates the planting, upkeep and preservation of trees. Its history has strong roots that branched out across multiple nations. One [...]

Toronto: Where the Trees Meet the Water

Toronto: Where the Trees Meet the Water

Did you know that ‘Toronto’ the name of the city comes from the Mohawk word “tkaronto”, which means “where there are trees standing in [...]

Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree of Hope Lives on

Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree of Hope Lives on

For the two years that Anne Frank remained in The Annexe, the building where she and her family were hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, her only [...]

The Sacred Trees of Dublin

The Sacred Trees of Dublin

According to the Annals of Inisfallen, Caill Tomair, a sacred wood dedicated to the North Germanic god Thor, was cut down under the orders of [...]

Nairobi: The Green City in the Sun

Nairobi: The Green City in the Sun

Uhuru Park in Nairobi has the same function as Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York City: a green space in the middle of [...]

Spooky Spiders Stave off Malaria after Freak Flood

Spooky Spiders Stave off Malaria after Freak Flood

In the summer of 2010, monsoons dropped 10 years’ worth of rain onto some Pakistani cities and villages in less than a week [...]

Cali: The City of Birds

Cali: The City of Birds

At the beginning of the 20th century, Frank M. Chapman, curator of birds at the American Museum of Natural History, conducted a series of [...]

A Vertical Forest Helps Kick Pollution in Milan

A Vertical Forest Helps Kick Pollution in Milan

The world’s first vertical forest was officially opened in October 2014 in Milan. According to lead designer and architect Stefano, [...]

The Giant Relics of Auckland

The Giant Relics of Auckland

Kauri trees were considered by M?ori to be the kings of New Zealand’s forest. These giants can reach over 50 meters and are also one of the [...]

How Trees Can Save us from Pollution

How Trees Can Save us from Pollution

Up to 90% of the global population living in cities in 2014 was exposed to particulate matter that exceeded air quality guidelines, according to [...]

How Do Giants Grow so Tall?

How Do Giants Grow so Tall?

On 25 August 2006, in a remote area of Redwood National Park, naturalists Chris Atkins and Michael Taylor discovered the tallest tree in the, [...]

Celebrating the Value of Forests to Cities

Celebrating the Value of Forests to Cities

Celebrating the “Forest and Education” theme of this year’s UN International Day of Forests on 21 March 2019, two key events involving [...]

Where Every Drop of Water Counts

Where Every Drop of Water Counts

In Amman, the arid capital of Jordan, water scarcity has always been a problem, and it is getting worse due to the immigration and climate [...]

Quito: Leading Global Climate and Forest Action

Quito: Leading Global Climate and Forest Action

On 18 March 2019, at the headquarters of Quito’s Environment Secretariat, 25 representatives from Quito’s city hall, Ecuador’s national [...]

From the Industrial Revolution to the Green Revolution

From the Industrial Revolution to the Green Revolution

Manchester was a leading city of the industrial revolution, acquiring the nickname of Cottonopolis due to its important textile [...]

Hibakujumoku, the Survivor Trees

Hibakujumoku, the Survivor Trees

On 6 August 1945, the first atomic bomb used as a weapon of war was launched on Hiroshima.The city was destroyed and hundreds of thousands of [...]

Are Mangroves Ecosystems the Richest Carbon Storage?

Are Mangroves Ecosystems the Richest Carbon Storage?

Mangroves grow along tropical coasts and are unique amongst the world’s plants: they are adapted to live in harsh coastal conditions with high [...]

The Imperial Gardens of Vienna

The Imperial Gardens of Vienna

The Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria, was the residence of the Habsburg emperors from the 18th century to early 20th century. During [...]

What Can Lichens Tell us About Air Quality?

What Can Lichens Tell us About Air Quality?

Lichens are strange organisms that occur as crusty patches or bushy growths on trees, rocks and bare ground and are composed by a fungus and one or [...]

A Forest Relict in Brussels

A Forest Relict in Brussels

The Sonian Forest to the southeast of Brussels is dominated by beech trees and their related biodiversity. Due to the extraordinary evolution [...]