Best Practices for Using Citizen Science in Urban Forest Inventorying

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Karafilov, Jessica
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University of Guelph

Urban trees and forests are an essential component of the urban fabric and provide a range of environmental, social, cultural and economic benefits. Urban tree inventories are conducted for a number of purposes, including providing valuable urban forest data that allows for sustainable management decisions. Involving citizens in scientific enquiries is not a new phenomenon, and there are challenges and benefits to using this model. The goal of this research was to conduct a comparative case study of nine citizen science (CS) urban forest inventory programs to establish a guideline of best practices. This was achieved by analyzing academic and grey literature, and conducting supplementary key informant interviews. The best practices identified can serve as a practical tool for municipalities, NGOs and landscape architects seeking to implement or improve upon existing CS urban forest inventory programs.

citizen science, urban forest inventorying, landscape architecture, tree inventory, volunteered geographic information, urban forest management