Obstacles to urban greening: similarities from Baltimore to Poland

Last fall, we talked about a paper we collaborated on with Michael Battaglia of Michigan Tech Research Institute, Geoff Buckley of Ohio University, and Morgan Grove of U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station Baltimore Urban Field Station. The paper considered two East Baltimore neighborhoods that have potential for enhanced tree canopy but have social barriers to implementation.

Credit: M. Battaglia et al., Cities and the Environment

We were recently contacted by Jakub Kronenberg, Department of International Economics at the University of Lodz in Lodz, Poland. Dr. Kronenberg had recently come across our paper in Cities and the Environment and reached out to us due to parallels between our findings and those in his research.

His paper “Why not to green a city? Institutional barriers to preserving urban ecosystem services” was recently published in Ecosystem Services. Dr. Kronenberg looked at institutional failures that inhibit implementation of urban greening, primarily government and social empowerment failures. Similar to our findings in Baltimore, he found that government failures included inadequate maintenance of planted trees and social barriers included difficulty in mobilization, under-appreciation of the importance of trees, and focus on disservices related to trees.

Credit: J. Kronenberg , Ecosystem Services

We’re very grateful to Dr. Kronenberg for reaching out and sharing his research, which improves our understanding of barriers to urban greening implementation locally and globally. It also helps us realize that urban areas across the globe have certain barriers that are unique and different, some are very similar. Shared learning allows us to inform and improve practice across time and distance.

You can find a copy of our paper “It’s Not Easy Going Green: Obstacles to Tree-Planting Programs in East Baltimore” from the journal Cities and the Environment here.

You can find Dr. Kronenberg’s paper “Why not to green a city? Institutional barriers to preserving urban ecosystem services” from the journal Ecosystem Services here.

The Consulting Group at SavATree provides project support to the US Forest Service Northern Research Station