Written by: Wang Yichen
2020-02-13 07:00Last updated: 2020-02-13 07:00
As climate change becomes more urgent, urban forestry issues have attracted international attention. Hong Kong is one of the highest density cities in the world. The Development Bureau set up a greening, landscape and tree management team in 2010 to promote urban forestry. In mid-January this year, the Development Bureau held the "Hong Kong 2020 International Urban Forestry Symposium" at the Central Pavilion for two consecutive days, inviting more than 20 experts, policy makers, scholars and industry professionals from mainland China, overseas and local areas. Development, landscape planning, tree management, scientific research, etc., to exchange experiences on urban forestry from multiple perspectives, broaden the international perspective of the local industry, and increase public awareness of urban forestry, with a view to becoming a densely populated Hong Kong, Further promote the sustainable development of urban forestry work, while resisting climate change, improve the livability of urban areas.
Foreign and local experts, policy makers, academics and industry professionals gathered together to exchange urban forest development strategies and practical experiences.
Several international initiatives promote urban forestry
Simone Borelli from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations introduced the 17 Sustainable Development Agenda adopted by the United Nations at the seminar. This agenda aims at 2030 to create a green and lively city around the world. Borelli pointed out that urban forestry work can help combat climate change, create job opportunities, promote people's physical and mental health, and increase the city's attractiveness for tourism and the business environment.
Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Canada who has studied urban forestry for more than 25 years, said that the success of urban forestry depends on 10 Cs, including Connection, Collaboration, and Community. , Communication, Clarity, Competence, Creativity, Champions, Courage, and Cash. Among them, he believes that communication is the most important, so that the public can better understand the urban forestry situation, which will help achieve greater overall work results. Dr. Kieron J. Doick, Director of the British Forestry Institute, shares the application of an IT tool called i-Tree in the UK. The tool facilitates communication between government departments and improves urban forest management by establishing a database of urban forest trees and making good use of data analysis to help formulate policies.
Urban forestry work can help deal with extreme weather brought about by climate change. Deng Guohui, former president of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (Asia-Pacific), referred to Singapore, Japan that experienced a nuclear accident, and frequent floods in Timor-Leste, citing examples to emphasize the importance of selecting suitable tree species to strengthen urban resilience, and suggested that Discuss with biological experts to maintain biodiversity.
According to Simone Borelli of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the organization's work is to promote the exchange of knowledge among members to create a green and healthy happy city.
Blue and green elements integrated into the urban planning of Hong Kong
At the end of 2016, the Planning Department formulated the "Hong Kong 2030+: Planning Vision and Strategy for 2030" ("Hong Kong 2030+") to study Hong Kong's long-term development framework. Li Wankuan, Chief Urban Planner of the Planning Department who has participated in the construction of "Hong Kong 2030+", briefly described the blue-green resources (that is, urban forest space and blue water resources, such as country parks, parks, harbors, beaches, rivers, Land, water ponds, etc.), integrate blue-green ecology in infrastructure facilities, restructure the "blue-green natural resource system", establish ecological zones, and promote urban forestry public space. Let the people of Hong Kong enjoy a pleasant green environment.
In fact, in recent years, government departments have actively promoted urban forestry work in their respective fields, and strived to achieve a balance between tree conservation, facility functions, and public safety, including:
Drainage Services Department
The Drainage Services Department completed the Kai Tak River water activation project in 2018. (The upper right corner is before construction)
From the engineering point of view, the concrete drainage channel constructed in the past can reduce the risk of flooding, but the urban landscape is not effective. Through activated water bodies (such as the Kai Tak River, Lincun River and other projects), it can not only drain water, but also beautify the urban landscape and enhance biodiversity.
The Highways Department conducted a slope plantation optimization project at Yuen Chau Kok, Sha Tin to remove the aging Taiwan Acacia and improve the environment. (The left picture is before construction)
Taiwan acacia, which was heavily planted in Hong Kong early to increase slope vegetation, has gradually aged. To protect public safety, the Highways Department removed risky aging trees and planted native plants to restore slope vegetation and enrich biodiversity; removed old tree wood is also promising (such as for artistic creation) to promote environmental protection .
Architectural Services Department
Stone wall trees located at Yuan Chuang Square in Central (pictured left) and George V Memorial Park (pictured right) in Sai Ying Pun have a long history.
The 267 local stone-walled trees are unique to Hong Kong. If there is sufficient space at the location of the stone wall tree, the Architectural Services Department will add planting troughs, guide air roots to become wooden supports, or trim the crown to reduce the potential risks of the stone wall tree.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department
There are about 250 butterfly species in Hong Kong, 58 of which are commonly found in 13 urban parks in Hong Kong and Kowloon.
There are more than 2,000 native species in Hong Kong, and more than 400 species of native trees. In urban forestry planning, more attention should be paid to maintaining biodiversity. For example, there are abundant native butterfly species. Selecting suitable plants during urban greening can provide habitat for different native butterfly species, which is conducive to conservation of organisms.
Understanding trees and promoting public participation
Professor Zhan Zhiyong of the Department of Social Sciences of the Education University of Hong Kong, who has received the Chadwick Award from the American Academy of International Trees, introduced the situation of urban forestry work around the world at the seminar. In addition to traditional practices such as woodland, it also explores how to use creativity to enhance greening in limited urban spaces.
Professor Zhan Zhiyong promotes three-dimensional greening of urban public space.
American senior tree artist Kevin K. Eckert emphasized that the correct planting of trees can reduce the risk of tree collapse under strong winds, including considering whether the size and shape of the canopy match the objective conditions of the street, providing sufficient space for tree roots, and understanding the strength of wood Toughness to withstand wind speed, etc. In addition, Dr. Huang Wensheng, associate professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geoinformatics at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, introduced the use of technology to assist tree monitoring, such as the use of optical radar (LiDAR) drones, hyperspectral images, thermal infrared images, and smart sensors to detect tree canopy sizes, Trunk growth space and leaf growth changes to assist in assessing tree health.
Dr. Huang Wensheng, associate professor of the Department of Land Surveying and Geoinformatics of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, introduced a variety of remote sensing technologies applied to urban tree management.
During the seminar, many speakers emphasized that public education and public participation are very important for urban forestry work. Jennifer Greenfeld, Assistant Director of the New York City Parks Administration, introduced New York City ’s strategies to encourage public participation, such as launching various types of volunteer programs, recruiting early-stage and possessing trees in nearby streets, tree management, and large-scale urban landscape restoration projects. Professional volunteers. At the same time, through the tree census to record the location and other information of each tree in the village, a map of the urban forest trees is integrated to invite local residents to know the trees, so that green life becomes a part of the daily life of citizens.
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