Second Trees, People and the Built Environment conference speakers announced

Trees' contribution to biophilic cities, former war zones and retail environments will all be examined at the second Trees, People and the Built Environment conference.

Experts in urban forestry and arboriculture taking part at the event at Birmingham University on April 2 and 3, include Dr Kathleen Wolf, Dr Greg McPherson, Professor Roland Ennos and Professor Tim Beatley.

Birmingham is set to be the UK’s first biophilic city, as biophilic design and biophilic urbanism both grow in popularity amid growing urban populations and increased environmental and economic challenges.

The city council’s climate change and sustainability manager Nick Grayson will speak on the subject, along with Beatley, Founder of the Biophilic Cities Network

Independent academic Dr Lia Dong Shimada will focus on the link between peace-building and urban tree planting while Wolf, from University of Washington, will highlight research on urban trees and retail space.

The conference will be hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters as its National Conference in 2014 and is a partnership initiative between 19 organisations representing professionals within the greenspace and built environment sectors.

Chair of the conference steering group and chartered arboriculturalist and Research Fellow at Myerscough College Dr Mark Johnston said: "I'm delighted that once again the conference partners represent most of the professional bodies concerned with trees and the built environment. With this wide-ranging and influential partnership we hope to build on our achievements in 2011 and deliver an even bigger and better conference in April 2014.

"A world class line-up of speakers will present groundbreaking and highly relevant research from both the natural and social sciences. It is not just about theory though – it’s about making a real difference on the ground.

"Urban trees and woodlands are essential elements of our green infrastructure and have a vital role in promoting liveable and sustainable towns and cities. They can have numerous environmental, economic and social benefits, contributing enormously to the health and welfare of everyone who lives and works in urban areas.

"As concern grows about the sustainability of our urban environments, the importance of protecting and expanding our urban forests can only increase."

The conference will be held in the Elgar Concert Hall. To book click here.

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