The time for Urban Forestry is now – Podcast with Cecil Konijnendijk

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Urban Forestry is an effective way to help cities adapt to climate change AND battle biodiversity loss. To learn more about this Nature-based Solution, we spoke to Cecil Konijnendijk, widely considered as one of the world’s leading urban forestry experts, and creator of the 3-30-300 rule for cities.

What is 3-30-300?

In 2021 Cecil first wrote about the “3-30-300 rule” and since then it has gained a lot of traction. The rule is a guide for policy makers and city planners that want to green their cities, with the idea of promoting public health and helping cities adapt to climate change. People should be able to see 3 trees from their window, have a canopy cover of 30% in their neighbourhood and be no more than 300 meters from a public green space. Multiple organisations and cities worldwide have already started implementing it.

We need to rethink how we develop our cities.

said Cecil during this podcast. He suggest that it’s time we put nature and trees up front, and have them provide a framework for urban development. During the podcast, we also spoke about what cities need to consider when planing trees, the importance of good communication within nature conservation and how Periurban Parks can help connect those living in cities to nature.

Why do we need urban greening?

Logo – LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans

Nature and biodiversity is facing immense pressure. That is why the EU Biodiversity Strategy 2030 calls upon cities with over 20.000 inhabitants to create Urban Greening Plans. These plans aim to bring nature back into cities to support biodiversity and mitigate climate change. To help cities achieve this ambitious goal, the European Commission will create a EU Urban Greening Platform, under a new ‘Green City Accord’ with cities and mayors. This is the framework of the new LIFE UrbanGreeningPlans project, of which EUROPARC is happy to be a partner. The project works on different greening measures for large metropolitan areas. All the info collected will be feed into a special Knowledge Hub on Urban Greening.

Who is Cecil Konijnendijk?

Cecil Konijnendijk

Cecil has over 25 years of experience studying, teaching, and advising on aspects of urban forestry and nature-based solutions. He is widely considered as one of the world’s leading urban forestry experts, and his work has been featured by leading media outlets such as CNBC and in international documentary films. A Dutch national, he has lived and worked in Europe, Asia, and North America. Since 2016 he has been a professor of urban forestry at the University of British Columbia. Cecil helped found the leading academic journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening, and edited seminal textbooks such as The Routledge Handbook of Urban Forestry. He is currently Editor-in-chief of Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, the scientific journal of the International Society of Arboriculture. Cecil is passionate about using trees and nature to develop better cities, and always stresses the importance of building meaningful relationships between people and places. He has advised international organisations such as FAO, as well as national and local governments in more than 30 countries. He is also one of the Directors at the Nature Based Solutions Institute. You can follow him on LikedIn and Twitter.

The podcast is now available on Anchor, Spotify and almost all mainstream podcast platforms, or you can listen to it right here on our website:

We’d like to thank Cecil for taking the time to do this interview.