Integrated Green Cities: Urban Meets Forest—A Case Study of the Town of Trento

  • Maria Giulia Cantiani
  • Alessandro Betta
  • Isabella De Meo
  • Alessandro Paletto
  • Sara Tamanini
  • Federica MainoEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Green Energy and Technology book series (GREEN)


A smart city is one which is liveable both from the natural and human-environment points of view and is also one where citizens are involved in the realization and management of an attractive urban environment of high quality. This requires an effective dialogue between citizens and institutions, which means, among other issues, that the planners’ conception of urban, peri-urban and rural spaces is coupled with the inhabitants’ perception of them and their sense of place. In light of the process of urbanization occurring in many towns of the Alpine Region, managers and planners need to know the new order of priorities in values expressed by the population with regard to forests. This paper illustrates a case study of the town of Trento, in the north-eastern Italian Alps, a typical medium-sized alpine town which, despite recent urbanization, is still in close proximity to forested areas. The research, carried out by means of a self-reporting questionnaire, was aimed at investigating the relationship between citizens and their forests. The data collected were analyzed statistically with special regard to sociodemographic characteristics. In particular, the Principal Component Analysis (PCA), applied to some questions investigating people’s perception, made it possible to highlight visitors’ preferences for forest features and the main functions attributed to the forests. The results show that urbanization and socioeconomic changes, with the introduction of an urban lifestyle, are producing a radical transformation in people’s behavior and attitudes in relation to forests. A survey of this type may be a useful tool in helping future management and planning.


Urban agenda Urban forestry Citizens’ perceptions Social inclusion Trento municipality 


  1. Artmann, M., Bastian, O., & Grunewald, K. (2017). Using the concept of green infrastructure and ecosystem services to specify Leitbilder for compact and green cities—The example of the landscape plan of Dresden (Germany). Sustainability, 9, 198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cantiani, M. G., Geitner, C., Haida, C., Maino, F., Tattoni, C., Vettorato, D., et al. (2016). Balancing economic development and environmental conservation for a new governance of Alpine Areas. Sustainability, 8, 802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Comune di Trento. (2016). Trento Statistica. La Popolazione al 31 dicembre 2016. Accessed as April 14, 2017 from
  4. De Meo, I., Paletto, A., & Cantiani, M. G. (2015). The attractiveness of forests: preferences and perceptions in a mountain community in Italy. Annals of Forest Research, 58(1), 145–156.Google Scholar
  5. Dudek, T. (2016). Needs of the local population related to development of forests for recreational purposes: Example of south-eastern Poland. Journal of Forest Science, 62(1), 35–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. European Parliament. (2014). Mapping smart cities in the EU. Accessed as August 7, 2017 from
  7. Hansen, R., & Pauleit, S. (2014). From multifunctionality to multiple ecosystem services? A conceptual framework for multifunctionality in green infrastructure planning for urban areas. Ambio, 43, 516–529.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hunziker, M., Frick, J., Bauer, N., von Lindern, E., & Graf, O. (2013). La population Suisse et sa forêt. Office fédéral de l’environment, Berne et Institut federal de recherches sur la forêt, la neige et le paysage WSL, Birmensdorf.Google Scholar
  9. Inglehart, R. (1997). Modernization and Postmodernization: Cultural, economic, and political change in societies. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Laws, E. (1995). Tourism destination management: Issues, analysis, and policies. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  11. Manfredi, F. (2015). Smart community. Comunità sostenibili e resilienti. Bari: Cacucci Editore, Collana Lum School of Management.Google Scholar
  12. Nielsen, T. S., & Hansen, K. B. (2007). Do green areas affect health? Results from a Danish survey on the use of green areas and health indicators. Health Place, 13, 839–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Nutsford, D., Pearson, A. L., & Kingham, S. (2013). An ecological study investigating the association between access to urban green space and mental health. Public Health, 127, 1005–1011.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Paletto, A., Maino, F., De Meo, I., & Ferretti, F. (2012). Perception of forest values in the alpine community of Trentino region (Italy). Journal of Environmental Management, 51(2), 414–422.Google Scholar
  15. Paletto, A., De Meo, I., Cantiani, M. G., & Maino, F. (2013). Social perceptions and forest management strategies in an Italian Alpine Community. Mountain Research and Development, 33(2), 152–160.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Pavlikakis, G. E., & Tsihrintzis, V. A. (2006). Perceptions and preferences of the local population in Eastern Macedonia and Thrace National Park in Greece. Landscape and Urban Planning, 77, 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Rametsteiner, E., Eichler, L., & Berg, J. (2009). Shaping forest communication in the European Union: Public perceptions of forests and forestry. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: ECORYS Nederland.Google Scholar
  18. Sangster, M. (2010). Well-being and nature: Policy convergence in forestry, health and rural development. Swiss Forestry Journal, 161(3), 62–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Schmithüsen, F., & Wild-Eck, S. (2000). Uses and perceptions of forests by people living in urban areas: Findings from selected empirical studies. European Journal of Forest Research, 119, 395–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Šišák, L. (2011). Forest visitors’ opinions on the importance of forest operations, forest functions and sources of their financing. Journal of Forest Science, 57(6), 266–270.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Van Raaij, W. F. (1986). Consumer research on tourism: Mental and behavioral constructs. Annals of Tourism Research, 13(1), 1–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maria Giulia Cantiani
    • 1
  • Alessandro Betta
    • 2
  • Isabella De Meo
    • 3
  • Alessandro Paletto
    • 4
  • Sara Tamanini
    • 5
  • Federica Maino
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Civil, Environmental and Mechanical EngineeringUniversity of TrentoTrentoItaly
  2. 2.Environmental Engineer, Currently Mayor of the Town of Arco (TN)TrentoItaly
  3. 3.Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria—Research Centre for Agriculture and Environment (CREA)FlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Consiglio per la ricerca in agricoltura e l’analisi dell’economia agraria—Research Centre for Forestry and Wood (CREA)VillazzanoItaly
  5. 5.Municipality of Trento, Parks and Gardens ServiceTrentoItaly
  6. 6.Eurac Research—Institute for Regional DevelopmentBozen/BolzanoItaly

Personalised recommendations