The purposes and goals for this project include:
1. Identify the “best” Indiana urban forestry programs with respect to preparedness for environmental change
2. Describe for other cities how to go about following models of best-prepared cities
Generally, the researchers anticipate that Tree City USA participants are more likely on the modeled path shown, which will likely be the most common and straightforward path to preparing urban forests for environmental change. An urban forest inventory – particularly a street tree inventory – will be a crucial tool for developing a meaningful urban forest plan, and that plan should explicitly address adaptation actions (see section below) which the city urban forestry program can put into effect. Ideal units of analysis, the middle steps in the model are among the most documentable in addition to being necessary for thoughtful response to environmental change.
Currently, adaptation actions are expected to address three primary topics:
- Species diversity
- Size structure
- New species introduction
Specific adaptation actions will be worked out as the project moves into the planning stage.
In addition, the researchers hope to find examples of:
1. Adaption actions that will help cities address key climate impacts
2. Ideas that are new or different from the “business as usual” management approach
3. Planning for resistance, resilience, and/or transition to anticipated change