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Urban Forestry is now a Health Benefit

The positive impact of trees on the health of people living and working in urban spaces has become a hot topic in recent times. Studies from around the world are proving time and again that health improvements can be seen in areas where trees are integrated into the built environment. So, it is becoming imperative that urban planners start to take this fact into account in the city designs they produce.

Now world experts in public health, urban planning, ecology, arboriculture, urban forestry, research and engineering, will gather in Birmingham on the 5 & 6 April to discuss what action is needed to move this up every agenda. The Trees, People and the Built Environment 3 Conference (TPBE3) will discuss the latest research and practices surrounding the social, economic and environmental benefits of urban trees. It will be significant in demonstrating the considerable benefits that trees bring to our urban health in the 21st century and provide an important platform for collaboration between professions.

The conference will focus on the greater integration of trees into our transport systems and the benefits they have on human health. By looking at success stories from around the world, experts will demonstrate how innovative planning focused on greenspace in our cities can sustain the health of communities and people and improve traffic infrastructure.

To further emphasise the influence of trees on public well-being Dr. Ann Marie Connolly from Public Health England will be lending weight to the day 2 discussions on the ‘Health Benefits of Urban Trees’. As part of those discussions Dr. Matilda van den Bosch, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Canada, will be talking about ‘Healthy Trees, Healthy People’ and explains that:

Dr Matilda van den Bosch, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia, Canada

“with a changing disease scenario and increased prevalence of chronic, lifestyle-related disorders, structural, environmental and health-promoting investments are required. From this perspective, trees and urban green spaces can be considered as efficient tools for promoting healthy behaviours, encouraging physical activity and cross cultural social interactions”.

The 2011 and 2014 conference was praised for its quality of content and pioneering aim of bringing together a diverse group of professionals. As esteemed UK based architect Sue James explains:

Sue James: Architectural Association

“if we are to have more urban trees and properly benefit from them, it’s vital that we embrace a cross-sector, cross- disciplinary approach for all built environment professionals including health professionals, civil engineers, architects and landscapers”

TPBE3 is hosted and organised by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) on behalf of a group of partner organisations. For further information and booking visit:

Press passes are available from the ICF office

Follow us @TheICF #TPBE3


Media Enquiries

Hester McQueen
Marketing & Communications Officer
Institute of Chartered Foresters
+44 (0) 131 240 1425

Notes to Editor

  1. Confirmed keynote speakers for this event include landscape planning and public health expert, Dr Matilda van den Bosch, University of British Columbia; Prof Miles Tight, Professor of Transport, Energy and Environment, University of Birmingham; and Maarten Buijs, Senior Project Manager at internationally acclaimed Dutch urban design and landscape architecture firm, West
  2. TPBE3 is hosted and organised by the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) on behalf of a group of partner organisations, including: Ancient Tree Forum, Birmingham Institute of Forest Research, Forestry Commission England, Forest Research, Fund4Trees, Green Infrastructure Partnership (TCPA), Institution of Civil Engineers, London Tree Officers Association, Municipal Tree Officers Association, National Association of Tree Officers, Place Alliance, Society for the Environment, Trees and Design Action Group, Urban Design Group, Utility Arboriculture Group and Woodland Trust Women in Transport – London
  3. Conference host, the Institute of Chartered Foresters (ICF) is incorporated by Royal Charter as the only professional body in the UK to award Chartered Forester and Chartered Arboriculturist statuses. Full details of how to join the Institute, and routes to professional membership are available on the ICF website:
  4. Presentations, papers and news coverage from the 2014 Trees People and the Built Environment II conference can be accessed at
  5. Join the Trees, People and the Built Environment group on LinkedIn to exchange information and ideas with natural and built environment professionals worldwide.
  6. TPBE3 Conference Chair, Prof Alan Simson, is a Chartered Landscape Architect and Urban Forester. Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urban Forestry at Leeds Beckett University, involved in research, trans-disciplinary teaching and consultancy on adaptive / landscape urbanism, urban forestry and green infrastructure.
  7. Dr Matilda van den Bosch has a medical background and has worked clinically as a physician in general practice and radiology. She has a PhD in landscape planning and public health and, since July 2016, she has been an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Matilda holds a shared affiliation between the faculty of medicine and faculty of forestry. In her research she explores how interactions with and exposure to natural environments and ecosystems can protect human health and how this displays in various populations across various socioeconomic conditions. She has published numerous scientific articles, book chapters, and policy reports, and is editor of the coming Oxford University press textbook on Nature and Public Health. Results from her studies may be used for healthier urban planning with improved conditions for both people and environment. Matilda works as a consultant for the World Health Organisation, the UN Environmental Programme, the Environmental Protection Agency of US, and the Climate Change and Innovation Bureau, Health Canada, and she is also president-elect of the International Society of Doctors for the Environment.
  8. Miles Tight is Professor of Transport, Energy and Environment in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Birmingham. He was previously a senior lecturer in transport planning at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. Miles has been actively researching safety, equity and sustainability of travel for over 20 years with a particular emphasis recently on sustainability of transport. Most recently his research interests focus on walking and cycling, the nature of long term and large scale change in transport systems and the future design and form of sustainable urban areas. He has been involved in a wide range of research projects funded by UK research councils, the European Union and others in these areas and is currently leading the five year EPSRC STEP-CHANGE (Sustainable Transport Evidence and modelling Paradigms: Cohort Household Analysis to support New Goals in Engineering design) project. Mile is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce.
  9. Maarten Buijs is an experienced senior project manager at West 8 urban design and landscape architecture in the Netherlands; a position he has held since joining West 8 in 2007. He is responsible for business development, general practice management, staff development, and management of the company’s landscape projects. The latter most recently include the former Commonwealth Institute (now the British Design Museum and residential development), Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam, NL, the Waterfront Toronto, Canada, and Jubilee Gardens on London’s South Bank. Visit

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