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Participant City

Sofia

Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, counts over 1.2 million residents. Seeking to increase its urban canopy cover, Sofia took part in the “Trees in Cities Challenge” pledging to plant 12,486 new trees. With its new urban forest, the city aims to increase its resilience to climate change and improve air quality. In 2020, over 22,000 new trees have been planted, 17,000 together with citizens and companies as part of Sofia’s initiative “New Forest of Sofia”. The city exceeded its pledge by more than 10,000 trees, planting them along streets and boulevards, in parks and courtyards of public institutions. To promote its planting activities, the city created a dedicated website and is reaching out to its residents through social media.

Participant City

Malaga

The city of Malaga on the Spanish Mediterranean Costa del Sol is home to almost 570,000 residents. The pledge to plant 15,000 trees is in line with the city’s “Urban Forestry Management Plan”. By participating in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, Malaga aims to adapt its urban forestry to climate change and improve the planning, management and protection of its urban and peri-urban trees and forests. The city implemented its pledge by planting 15,269 new trees of nine different species adapted to the local climate within the city area and the surrounding landscapes, thereby restoring fire-affected sites and areas that have been deforested in the past.

Participant City

Victoria

The city of Victoria is located at the southern point of Vancouver Island and is inhabited by over 92,000 residents. By participating in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, the city aims to mitigate and adapt to the changing climate by increasing its canopy cover. In 2019, Victoria pledged to plant 5,000 new trees, 500 of which are on public and 4,500 on private land. Victoria also undertook many activities to raise citizens’ awareness about the importance of urban and peri-urban trees and forests, including by organising educational workshops and developing guidelines on “How to plant your tree and care for it”. To date, 678 trees have been planted on public land along boulevards and in parks and an additional 87 trees have been planted on private properties in 8 neighbourhoods across the municipality. Overall, more than 80 different tree species have been introduced.

Participant City

Vancouver

Vancouver is in the northwest of the USA and counts about 185,000 residents. To reverse the trend of a decreasing tree canopy, the city adopted the “Urban Forestry Management Plan” in 2007. Under this plan, Vancouver works with neighbourhoods, businesses and community organizations to ensure equitable distribution of the benefits of urban trees and forests. The city participates in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”, which is aligned with its management plans. Originally committing to expand the canopy with 1,000 new trees, the city ended up planting 1,486 trees in total, with more than 80 different species that were introduced and planted in parks, several neighbourhoods and courtyards of schools. Vancouver also prepared a “Tree Planting Report” that includes guidelines and information on tree planting for residents and provides free trees to property owners.  

Participant City

Podgorica

Podgorica, with almost 190,000 residents, is the capital and largest city in Montenegro. The city faces many environmental challenges, which it aims to tackle by participating in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”. One of the main goals is to restore the forest park that has been damaged by natural disturbances, and increasing canopy cover, thus cooling the urban area, improving air quality and increasing the quality of life for Podgorica’s residents. Podgorica pledged to plant 10,000 trees of which 869 have been planted so far. To support the implementation of its pledge, the city initiated the project “My TREE” in cooperation with two local companies. Within the project, a mobile application has been developed to encourage citizens to donate trees.

Participant City

Bonn

Bonn is located in western Germany on the river Rhine and has a population of 327,000. The city has high ambitions to become more sustainable as reflected in its “Energy and Climate Protection Masterplan” that includes the goal of a CO2-emission reduction between 90-95 percent by 2050. In 2019, the city adopted its first “Sustainability Strategy”, covering six thematic areas including economy, energy and climate and mobility and laying the groundwork for Bonn’s implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Bonn’s sustainability efforts are also reflected in the participation in the “Trees in Cities Challenge”. Pledging to plant 25,000 new trees, Bonn aims to improve its city forest, green up its urban area and raise citizen awareness of the benefits of urban trees and forests. The latter is done with the “House of Nature”, an educational centre with a focus on forests and nature. To date, 12,000 trees have been planted in the city forest and 600 trees along streets using mainly native species. For its efforts in facilitating a dialogue between different forest stakeholders and raising citizen awareness about the value forests provide, Bonn has been recognized as “European Forest City 2020” by the European Forest Institute EFI.