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The recreational potential of urban forests – an application of the assessment method
Rekreativni potencijal urbanih šuma – primjena inovativne metode ocjene
Natalie Levandovska, Jaromir Kolejka, Božena Šera, Hubert Zarnovičan
This paper is devoted to the method of recreational potential assessment of urban forests regarding the functional abilities – a set of indicators measuring of forest stands to recreation as a practical tool for urban forests management, landscape planning and administration authorities. One of the main research tasks presented in this paper was to use indicators which are understandable for ordinary users. This aspect is important, because it enables the method to be utilised for a wide range of participants, administrative collaborators that can assess urban forests in terms of their suitability for recreation. A test of the created methodology (a case study in “Horský park” forest in Bratislava) shows the suitability of evaluation on the recreational purposes of urban forests. The characteristics of each individual indicator designate the ways to enhance the recreational value of urban forests, and they may be used for sustainability of urban forests management.
Key words: urban forest, forest recreation, human impact, town greenery
Urban forests are established in original natural forests or planted to support urban life in a positive way (Durkaya et al. 2016). The forestry urban dealing with urban forest is represented by the urban forests have been defined as “the art, science and technology of managing trees and forest resources in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic, and aesthetic benefits trees provide society” (Konijnendijk et al. 2005; Simpson et al. 2008) according to The Dictionary of Forestry by Society of American Foresters edited by Helms (1998). The urban forest has been described as “the sum of all woody and associated vegetation in and around dense human settlements, ranging from small communities in rural settings to metropolitan areas” (Miller 1997) and is located close to agglomerations, as well as on urban lands.
An urban forest provides the city’s residents with recreational services, aesthetics, health environment, and psychological wellbeing. It has become a necessary facility for cities because of its economic and ecological contributions (Simpson et al. 2008). They have a positive influence on the air quality (Fantozzi et al. 2015; Bottalico et al. 2016; Jayasooriya et al. 2017) and an impact on the climate in cities (Moss et al. 2018). Siljeg et al. (2018) drew attention to the link between urban green spaces and the quality of