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Urban Nature Stats: Metrics and Data on Forested Natural Areas from the 17-City Forests in Cities Network

By Sophie Plitt, Clara C. Pregitzer, Crystal A. Crown

The following report shares selected metrics about urban forested natural areas across the Forests in Cities Network based on data collected in 2021. To get an in-depth understanding of how urban forested natural areas are managed across the Forests in Cities network, survey responses were solicited from city teams asking a series of questions that explored themes such as characterization of forested natural area acres, budget, and governance structures. 

These data present a clear trend: forested natural areas are an extremely valuable resource for the collected data covers a spectrum of factors, from the characterization of natural areas to issues of equity, public access, and climate impact. Notably, the report reveals the vulnerability of urban forested natural areas to stressors such as invasive species, climate change, and budget constraints. The findings underscore the critical role these areas play in supporting biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and providing high-quality nature experiences for urban residents.

In a nutshell, the resource offers:

  • Background and methodology about the survey of the Forests in Cities Network
  • Various metrics characterizing urban forested natural networks from across the network
  • Reflections and a call to action based on the data collected

How to use this resource:

  • As a snapshot of national trends in forested natural areas
  • As a baseline for future surveys of the Forests in Cities Network
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