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Tree Cities of the World

By Hanane Ait Yamine, HAF Volunteer

Celebrating global leadership in urban and community forestry

Urban forests help define a sense of place and well-being where people live, work, play, and learn. The Tree Cities of the World program is an international effort to recognize cities and towns committed to ensuring that their urban forests and trees are properly maintained, sustainably managed, and duly celebrated.

To be recognized as a Tree City, a community must meet five core standards that illustrate a commitment to caring for its trees and forests. Our goal is to connect cities worldwide in a new network dedicated to sharing and adopting the most successful approaches to managing community trees and forests.

Recognition through the Tree Cities of the World program represents the first step toward achieving a green vision for your city. In order to receive recognition, a town or city must meet five core standards:

STANDARD 1: Establish Responsibility

The city has a written statement by city leaders delegating responsibility for the care of trees within the municipal boundary to a staff member, a city department, or a group of citizens—called a Tree Board.

STANDARD 2: Set the Rules

The city has a law or an official policy that governs the management of forests and trees. These rules describe how work must be performed, often citing best practices or industry standards for tree care and worker safety. The rules also include where and when they apply and penalties for noncompliance.

STANDARD 3: Know What You Have

The city has an updated inventory or assessment of the local tree resource to establish an effective long-term plan for planting, care, and removal of city trees.

STANDARD 4: Allocate the Resources

The city has a dedicated annual budget for the routine implementation of the tree management plan.

STANDARD 5: Celebrate Achievements

The city holds an annual celebration of trees to raise awareness among residents and acknowledge citizens and staff members who carry out the city tree program.

The Arbor Day Foundation inspires people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees.

FAO supports the development of urban and peri-urban forestry actions, projects, and strategic planning tools that promote a sustainable and resilient model for city development worldwide.

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