The Forest and the City
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The Forest and the City : The Cultural Landscape of Urban Woodland

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Amsterdamse Bos, Bois de Boulogne, Epping Forest, Grunewald, Zonienwoud; throughout history, cities in Europe and elsewhere have developed close relationships with nearby woodland areas. In some cases, cities have even developed - and in some cases are promoting - a distinct `forest identity'. This book introduces the rich heritage of these city forests as cultural landscapes, and shows that cities and forests can be mutually beneficial.


Essential reading for students and researchers interested in urban sustainability and urban forestry, this book also has much wider appeal. For with city forests playing an increasingly important role in local government sustainability programs, it provides an important reference for those involved in urban planning and decision making, public affairs and administration, and even public health.


From providers of livelihoods to healthy recreational environments, and from places of inspiration and learning to a source of conflict, the book presents examples of city forests from around the world. These cases clearly illustrate how the social and cultural development of towns and forests has often gone hand in hand. They also reveal how better understanding of city forests as distinct cultural and social phenomena can help to strengthen synergies both between cities and forests, and between urban society and nature.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 246 pages
  • 155 x 235 x 15.24mm | 606g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 2008 ed.
  • 4 Illustrations, color; XIV, 246 p. 4 illus. in color.
  • 140208370X
  • 9781402083709
  • 2,036,098

Back cover copy

Amsterdamse Bos, Bois de Boulogne, Epping Forest, Grunewald, Zoniënwoud; throughout history, cities in Europe and elsewhere have developed close relationships with nearby woodland areas. In some cases, cities have even developed - and in some cases are promoting - a distinct 'forest identity'. This book introduces the rich heritage of these city forests as cultural landscapes, and shows that cities and forests can be mutually beneficial.







Essential reading for students and researchers interested in urban sustainability and urban forestry, this book also has much wider appeal. For with city forests playing an increasingly important role in local government sustainability programs, it provides an important reference for those involved in urban planning and decision making, public affairs and administration, and even public health.







From providers of livelihoods to healthy recreational environments, and from places of inspiration and learning to a source of conflict, the book presents examples of city forests from around the world. These cases clearly illustrate how the social and cultural development of towns and forests has often gone hand in hand. They also reveal how better understanding of city forests as distinct cultural and social phenomena can help to strengthen synergies both between cities and forests, and between urban society and nature.
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Table of contents

Preface.- 1. Introduction. 1.1 Culture, landscape and forest. 1.2 The urban era. 1.3 Cities and trees. 1.4 Cities and forests. 1.5 City forests as cultural landscapes, place and space. 1.6 The city forest defined. 1.7 Contents of this book.- 2. The Spiritual Forest. 2.1 Ancient spiritual links between forests and people. 2.2 Forest and religion. 2.3 Forest and myths. 2.4 Modern spirituality. 2.5 Recreating spiritual links.- 3. The Forest of Fear. 3.1 Primeval forest fear. 3.2 Criminal forests. 3.3 Nature's dangers. 3.4 From fear to excitement.- 4. The Fruitful Forest. 4.1 Subsistence forests. 4.2 Appropriation of city forest use. 4.3 City forests and societal development. 4.4 The rise of municipal forestry. 4.5 The Fruitful Forest today.- 5. The Forest of Power. 5.1 From wooded commons to elitist prestige. 5.2 Military forests. 5.3 City forests and democratisation. 5.4 City forests and city image. 5.5 City forests and environmental justice.- 6. The Great Escape. 6.1 Antidote to the city. 6.2 Recreate and enjoy. 6.3 Window to the world. 6.4 New ways of escaping. 6.5 Different people, different escapes. 6.6 Escape from city rule.- 7. A Work of Art. 7.1 City forests as inspiration. 7.2 Designed landscapes. 7.3 Settings for art. 7.4 Art for developing community-forest links.- 8. The Wild Side of Town. 8.1 City forests and nature conservation. 8.2 Nature is in the eye of the beholder. 8.3 Searching for the urban wilderness. 8.4 Working with nature.- 9. The Healthy Forest. 9.1 Views on nature and health. 9.2 City forests and physical health. 9.3 City forests and mental health and wellbeing. 9.4 Promoting the Healthy Forest.- 10. The Forest of Learning. 10.1 City forests as testing grounds. 10.2 International inspiration. 10.3 Demonstrating forestry to the public. 10.4 City forests, natureeducation and children. 10.5 Tomorrow's Forest of Learning.- 11. The Social Forest. 11.1 From wooded commons to forests for all. 11.2 Social forests for mass use. 11.3 City forests as social stages. 11.4 Social forests and place making. 11.5 Building community identity.- 12. A Forest of Conflict. 12.1 Urban development conflicts. 12.2 Conflicts over forest management. 12.3 Recreation conflicts. 12.4 Other conflicts. 12.5 Managing the Forest of Conflict.- 13. A Forest for the Future. 13.1 Challenges in an urban era. 13.2 Developing attractive urban landscapes. 13.3 Building communities. 13.4 Maintaining links with nature. 13.5 Final thoughts.- References.- Index.-
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Review Text

From the reviews:

"This book offers a detailed ... exploration of the relationship between forest and cities. ... Summing Up: Recommended. Public and professional libraries." (S. Hammer, Choice, Vol. 46 (5), January, 2009)

"The book looks at city forests primarily from a cultural and social perspective but also ... provide an important reference for those involved in urban planning and decision marking, public affairs and administration, and even public health. ... the book is well-researched and makes a significant contribution to the urban forestry sector and a fundamental reading for students and researchers interested in urban sustainability and urban forestry, but it's also essential for those involved in the national and local government sustainability programs." (Francesco Ferrini, Advances in Horticultural Science, Vol. 23 (1), 2009)

"As its title suggests, this book explores the relationships between cities and forests. ... throughout the book there are numerous references to non-European city-forest relations, particularly those in North America. ... this is a timely volume. It integrates narrative, historical and academic analysis, and is concisely written and well illustrated. It is an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to the usual academic and forestry literature." (Lawrence Kitchen, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Vol. 12 (1), March, 2010)

"A city forest provides products, a meeting place, an identity, and a link between people and their environment. This is the perspective from which the book is written; it thus approaches city forests primarily from a cultural and social perspective. ... I would recommended this book to those who are interested in learning more about the social and cultural role that city forests have ... . The book is well focused, engagingly written, and, with the many clarifying examples and photographs, pleasant to read." (J. Willemijn Weijschede-van der Straaten, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol. 25, March, 2010)
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Review quote

From the reviews:



"This book offers a detailed ... exploration of the relationship between forest and cities. ... Summing Up: Recommended. Public and professional libraries." (S. Hammer, Choice, Vol. 46 (5), January, 2009)

"The book looks at city forests primarily from a cultural and social perspective but also ... provide an important reference for those involved in urban planning and decision marking, public affairs and administration, and even public health. ... the book is well-researched and makes a significant contribution to the urban forestry sector and a fundamental reading for students and researchers interested in urban sustainability and urban forestry, but it's also essential for those involved in the national and local government sustainability programs." (Francesco Ferrini, Advances in Horticultural Science, Vol. 23 (1), 2009)

"As its title suggests, this book explores the relationships between cities and forests. ... throughout the book there are numerous references to non-European city-forest relations, particularly those in North America. ... this is a timely volume. It integrates narrative, historical and academic analysis, and is concisely written and well illustrated. It is an enjoyable read and a welcome addition to the usual academic and forestry literature." (Lawrence Kitchen, Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning, Vol. 12 (1), March, 2010)

"A city forest provides products, a meeting place, an identity, and a link between people and their environment. This is the perspective from which the book is written; it thus approaches city forests primarily from a cultural and social perspective. ... I would recommended this book to those who are interested in learning more about the social and cultural role that city forests have ... . The book is well focused, engagingly written, and, with the many clarifying examples and photographs, pleasant to read."--- (J. Willemijn Weijschede-van der Straaten, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, Vol. 25, March, 2010)
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About Cecil C. Konijnendijk

Dr Cecil Konijnendijk, a Dutch national based in Denmark, has studied and promoted the role of woodlands and trees in urban societies throughout his career. After employment with the European Forest Institute and the Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning, Cecil started woodSCAPE consult in 2004. His present work includes, among other, research, teaching, training of urban forestry professionals and writing about urban forestry issues. He has coordinated several international networks and research projects dealing with city forests and other green space. Cecil is also editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Urban Forestry & Urban Greening.
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