2020| Mysha Clarke, PhD, University of Florida, Co-PIs Lara Roman, PhD, USDA Forest Service, Tenley Conway, PhD, University of Toronto-Mississauga, Theodore Eisenman, PhD, University of Massachusetts-Amherts, Andrew Koeser, PhD, University of Florida
Urban areas face increased threats from climate-related natural hazards like tropical storms, ice storms, hurricanes, and floods. The impacts of hurricanes and floods are concerning because storm events are compounded by aging infrastructure, rapid urbanization, and high population density at lower elevations in U.S. cities. To help mitigate these threats, we will assess current risk perceptions about urban trees in relation to major storm events in Boston (MA), Philadelphia (PA) and Ft. Lauderdale/Broward County (FL), which are all along the Atlantic hurricane belt, with the northern cities also subject to blizzards and ice storms. Urban forests are multi-stakeholder governance systems, with varied risk perspectives among policy makers, utility workers, engineers, municipal arborists, private consulting foresters and the public. Risk perceptions are socially constructed via personal, cultural, and socio-ecological contexts. It is therefore critical that urban forest governance, including maintenance, care and related collaborations among stakeholders, assess diverse opinions about risk at the personal and institutional levels, and examine how these perspectives on ecosystem services and disservices impact urban forest governance and collaboration related to hazard preparedness.
We will use a mixed methods approach (both qualitative and quantitative methods) to conduct a comparative assessment of risk perceptions among professionals that work with, care for, and communicate about urban trees. We will assess: 1) What are the risk perceptions of diverse urban forestry stakeholders? 2) What are stakeholders’ perceptions of the ecosystem services and disservices of urban trees, especially using trees in resiliency planning? and 3) What are best practices for urban forestry stakeholders to collaborate and communicate about the risks and benefits associated with trees and storms? The results of this study will produce manuscripts for peer-reviewed journal publications, workshop in each city for urban forestry professionals, framework for collaboration and other Extension outputs including articles in Arborist News and conference presentations.
Funding Duration: 2 year
Grant Program: Bob Skiera Memorial Fund Building Bridges Initiative Grant
Grant Title: Enhancing collaboration amongst urban forest stakeholders – An assessment of natural hazard risk perceptions in relation to the services and disservices of city trees
Researcher: Dr. Mysha Clarke
Peer Reviewed Publications from Grant:
General Audience/Trade Publications:
For more information on this project, contact the researcher via TREE Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org.