Performance of Forests: WRI’s Better Forests, Better Cities Report

The Better Forests, Better Cities report developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) is a compelling compilation of the many benefits offered to cities by inner forests (within cities), nearby forests (in the watersheds surrounding cities), and faraway forests (remote and far outside city boundaries).

The report draws on decades of research and hundreds of synthesis papers, original papers, and reports to examine the impacts of forests on health and well-being, water, climate, and biodiversity. It makes the case for nature-based solutions, particularly trees and forests, as a key tool to help cities meet the needs of a growing populace and combat the adverse impacts of a changing climate. The report presents not just issues and challenges specific to urban environments, but also potential solutions that are centered in trees and forests, all aptly backed up by published research. By capturing the value of not just nearby nature or urban tree canopy and looking outward to larger forest systems, the report captures a range of benefits at a much broader scale by forests that may seem remote or intangible to urban dwellers. 

The report concludes with recommendations for policy that draw from the research presented, building an important bridge from landscape performance research into action. The dramatic case made in the report for landscape performance related to forests should be used and referenced by forest advocates and landscape architects working at any scale.

Works cited:
Wilson, S.J., E. Juno, J.R. Pool, S. Ray, M. Phillips, S. Francisco, and S. McCallum. 2022. “Better Forests, Better Cities.” Report. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute.


Landscape performance research

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