Trees, People and the Built Environment II: World-class Keynote Speakers Announced


Three renowned experts in architecture, planning, urban ecology and sustainability have been announced as keynote speakers for the major international urban trees research conference,  Trees, People and the Built Environment II (TPBEII) taking place 2-3 April, 2014 in Birmingham, UK. TPBEII is hosted by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) as its 2014 National Conference, on behalf of over 20 partner organisations.

Sir Terry Farrell CBE, one of the UK’s leading architect planners, Professor Timothy Beatley, Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, and Professor Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council (WFC) will address over 400 delegates at the two-day conference. They will drive home the message that improvements to green infrastructure in cities and towns, and thus the lives of those living in urban areas, will only happen if we continue to adopt a more integrated approach to the planning and management of our urban forests. Joining this prestigious group, as after-dinner speaker, is well-known writer and broadcaster Clive Anderson, who has also done much to promote the protection of Britain’s native trees during his nine years as President of The Woodland Trust.

Urban trees are the most significant element of our green infrastructure and play a vital role in promoting liveable and sustainable towns and cities. It has long been recognised by the many professionals working in the natural and built environment sectors that a more joined-up, holistic approach is required. In 2011, the inaugural TPBE conference saw, for the first time, tree professionals, landscape architects, urban designers, engineers, architects, planners, ecologists and conservationists engage with each other on issues relating to trees in the urban environment.

One of the largest tree conferences ever held in Britain, TPBE was hailed as the first to provide a unique platform for such a varied range of professionals to explore issues, hear cutting edge research, promote best practice and build connections.

The conference is now set to return to Birmingham in 2014, this time to an even bigger venue, due to an anticipated rise in delegate and exhibitor numbers.

The Call for Papers remains open until 21 October 2013.  Dr Mark Johnston MBE, chair of the conference steering committee which represents over 20 conference partners, is still keen to encourage further submissions covering all aspects of urban tree research in both social and natural sciences, from original research papers to review papers, offering both a national and international perspective.

He said:

“I am confident that the Call for Papers for Trees, People and the Built Environment II will result in a world-class programme of speakers, researchers and expert practitioners in 2014, and will build on the success of the highly-acclaimed 2011 conference.”

Reaffirming the uniqueness of the event, Mark added:

“For far too long the tree world has been talking to itself about issues that affect trees and the built environment.  This conference will again reach out to people in both the natural and built environment sectors – stressing the need for all their expertise.”

Booking for the conference will open in November 2013.

Speaker Biographies:

Sir Terry Farrell CBE (Keynote speaker – Day 1, opening speech) is considered to be the UK’s leading architect planner. During a 40-year career he has championed urban planning and helped shape government policy on key issues and been responsible for many award winning buildings and Masterplans. In 2013 he was voted the individual who made the Greatest Contribution to London’s Planning and Development over the last 10 years and he is the Mayor’s Design Advisor.

Professor Timothy Beatley (Keynote speaker – Day 2, opening speech) is the Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities, in the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning, School of Architecture at the University of Virginia. Much of his work focuses on sustainable communities, and creative strategies by which cities and towns can reduce their ecological footprints, while becoming more liveable and equitable places. Timothy believes that sustainable and resilient cities represent our best hope for addressing today’s environmental challenges. His most recent book is Biophilic Cities: Integrating Nature into Urban Design and Planning, which argues that cities must be designed to permit daily contact with the natural world.

Professor Herbert Girardet (Keynote speaker – Day 2, closing speech) is co-founder of the World Future Council (WFC). He is leading consultant on sustainable development and a recipient of a UN Global 500 Award ‘for outstanding environmental achievements’. For many years he has focussed on the challenges of sustainable urban development and is regarded as the world’s leading urban ecologist. A consultant to UNEP and UN-Habitat, he has also developed sustainability policies for major cities. From 1996 to 2008 Herbert was chairman of the Schumacher Society, UK. He is an honorary fellow of Royal Institute of British Architects, a patron of the Soil Association, UK, and a visiting professor at University of the West of England. He has produced 50 environmental TV documentaries and written many books on urban development, climate change and sustainability.

Clive Anderson (After-dinner speaker) is a barrister by training, but is best known as an award-winning and multi-talented television and radio writer and presenter. He rose to fame as the host of Whose Line Is It Anyway?, before going on to front his own show, Clive Anderson Talks Back, as well as making numerous other programmes and appearances. In 2004 he was appointed President of the Woodland Trust and has done a significant amount to increase awareness of the plight of the UK’s native woodlands.



TPBE II conference partners:

The Arboricultural Association, Ancient Tree Forum, Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, Forest Research, Forestry Commission, Institute of Chartered Foresters, Institution of Civil Engineers, International Society of Arboriculture (UK & I Chapter), Landscape Institute,
London Tree Officers Association, Municipal Tree Officers Association, Myerscough College, National Association of Tree Officers, Natural England, Royal Institute of British Architects, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Trees and Design Action Group, University of Birmingham, University of Manchester, Utility Arboriculture Group. Consultative supporters: English Heritage, Green Infrastructure Partnership, Royal Town Planning Institute

Press enquiries: Emma Thomson, ICF +44 (0) 131 240 1425

Abstract submissions and academic enquires: Dr Mark Johnston MBE, Myerscough College, UK,

Conference enquiries regarding attendance, sponsorship, support, exhibiting: Allison Lock, ICF  +44 (0) 131 240 1425

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