Why trees?

Trees are living, cost-effective, multipurpose and widely available nature-based solutions

CLEARING HOUSE will focus on trees as a living, cost-effective, multipurpose and widely available, but also frequently neglected and both underused, undervalued and understudied nature-based solution (Haase, 2017).

Trees in cities are far from new.


There is evidence that the early cities of Mesopotamia had trees for fruit and fuel.


The Romans planted trees in the cities and along roads for shade.


Napoleon also tree-lined the most important roads in his empire to protect his soldiers from sun and heat.

However, for the most part in Europe and in the recent centuries, urban trees have usually mainly been considered for their aesthetic qualities. Now ideas have evolved and society seems more receptive to the idea of trees (and urban forests) as vehicles for urban improvements and quality of life.

The concept of ecosystem services gives a much broader perspective of the benefits urban trees and urban forests provide to urban societies.

The power of nature-based solutions

Nature-based solutions and urban trees  provide multiple benefits at a time. However, the planning, design and management of the urban forest and urban trees should be adapted based to the local situation and the societal demand.

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