Urban Forest Structure in Hefei, China
Over the past 10 to 15 years, urban expansion has been occurring more rapidly than at any time in China. Today, about 41% of China’s people are living in cities, compared with 26% at the end of the 1980s, and the country is still rapidly urbanizing. Thus, city greening and city beauty have become very important issues, since many Chinese cities have air pollution problems (Shao et al., 2006). Vegetation management in cities has significant potential for improving air quality and human health and well-being in China. The growth of urban areas in China provides planning opportunities for creating new urban forests to combat this air pollution problem. For these reasons, it is important to obtain a more detailed understanding of the status of urban forests in the country.
To increase our knowledge of how large a benefit could be provided by urban forests, of how we can improve and enhance both the quality and extent of urban forests, and of what management approaches best maintain urban forests, we need to understand the abundance, distribution, and structure of urban forests in cities (Kielbaso, 1988). Some research projects on urban forest structure conducted in American cities, such as Chicago and Sacramento (McPherson, 1998; Nowak, 1994a,b), have provided good models for other cities to follow. These American studies were based on obtaining structural data on their urban forests so that their benefits could be determined.
But in China, because the concept of urban forests is still new, only a few reports on this topic have been published. So to guide the future development of urban forests, we need to learn more about their current status through case studies in different cities using new methods and theory. We selected the city of Hefei for this study because it is representative of mid-sized cities in China with a noticeable urban forest component, but is projected to grow rapidly soon. Hefei has a population of one million and is projected to increase by 50% to 70% in the next 15 years. The purpose of this study was to analyze the current situation of Hefei’s urban forest structure to provide basic information on its characteristics, problems, and management, and to provide a case study model for comparative studies with other cities as well.
KeywordsUrban Forest Tree Population Street Tree Biomass Storage Paulownia Tomentosa
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.