Assessing urban forest structure, ecosystem services, and economic benefits on vacant land

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21 Scopus citations


An urban forest assessment is essential for developing a baseline from which to measure changes and trends. The most precise way to assess urban forests is to measure and record every tree on a site, but although this may work well for relatively small populations (e.g,; street trees, small parks), it is prohibitively expensive for large tree populations. Thus, random sampling offers a cost-effective way to assess urban forest structure and the associated ecosystem services for large-scale assessments. The methodology applied to assess ecosystem services in this study can also be used to assess the ecosystem services provided by vacant land in other urban contexts and improve urban forest policies, planning, and the management of vacant land. The study's findings support the inclusion of trees on vacant land and contribute to a new vision of vacant land as a valuable ecological resource by demonstrating how green infrastructure can be used to enhance ecosystem health and promote a better quality of life for city residents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number679
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2016 Jul 16
Externally publishedYes


  • Ecosystem service assessment
  • Green infrastructure
  • I-Tree
  • Urban forestry


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