Adapt the urban forest to climate change to ensure and increase service delivery in the future.
Optimize greening efforts to maximize benefits, especially to at-risk clientele.
Optimize the management of the urban forest to generate significant savings by reducing replacements and sanitary treatments.
80% of the Canadian population lives in cities. This places increasing responsibility for environmental and health issues on municipalities.
Through the urban forest (street, park and urban woodland trees), we benefit from important ecosystem services such as heat island reduction, surface water control and improved air quality.
Climate and global changes are increasingly threatening urban green infrastructure, particularly trees, through increased environmental stresses and the occurrence of exotic insects and diseases. However, the impact of these changes on the urban forest and the implications for human health are not known, nor is it known how the urban forest should be adapted to ensure the sustainability of its ecosystem services.
The Urban Forest Research Chair is financially supported by the Borough of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, the Service des Grands Parcs, du Mont-Royal, et des Sports, and the Bureau de la transition écologique, City of Montreal. In addition, Jakarto, Québec-Vert, Rousseau-Lefebvre, Le Service de l'eau de la Ville de Montréal, and Soverdi are very important partners supported by the Alliance program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
The Chair's mission is to work in collaboration with the municipal sector to adapt urban forests to climate change as well as to ensure its resilience and its capacity to deliver quality services, especially with regards to health, to urban populations. The development of cutting-edge expertise in service of Quebec municipalities is at the heart of the Chair's activities on the urban forest. It aims to maintain and improve the services provided by trees and forests to citizens.
It is not so much the number of trees that count, but the services they provide. We work with various stakeholders to identify the main objectives that influence the planting of trees and weigh them according to societal and sanitary priorities, in such a way so that each tree can provide a maximum of services where it really counts. Planting a tree in a disadvantaged neighbourhood, with a clientele at greater risk of developing diseases related to environmental exposure (pollution, heat islands, and pollen) will therefore have a greater overall impact. This is extremely important to consider in the context of limited resources and space, where several urban forest actors are called upon to do their part.
As we continue to realize the importance of forest ecosystems and their services, particularly the importance of trees on health, we still know strikingly little on the functioning of trees and forests in urban areas, and practically nothing on their effects on the biological diversity. Thus, the Chair aims to investigate two main research objectives to better understand these trees that we encounter in our daily lives.