Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Urban Tree Canopy. AKA the urban forest from above.

What is it, why do we measure it, and why does it matter for climate goals?

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and software development firm, and develops educational content at the intersection of trees and technology. PlanIT Geo’s TreePlotter™ software suite is used worldwide by private tree care companies, governments, and nonprofits for tree inventories and asset management.


When people talk about urban forests or urban forestry, they mention urban tree canopy - and they mention it soon, and mention it often. I only lasted 12 words before typing it. Point proven? So, what exactly does it mean when we refer to urban tree canopy, and why are cities around the world so focused on tracking it?

For an individual tree, the canopy refers to the spread of leaves and branches. In the context of urban forestry, the term urban tree canopy refers to the collective canopies of all trees within a defined area, like the city limits. When viewing a city from above it essentially measures how much of that view is covered by green vs. gray assets, such as roads, buildings, or parking lots. There is a careful science to getting this measurement as accurate as possible, one that has been improving in leaps and bounds over the last 20 years.

Picking Plants Out Of Pixels

The process is called an urban tree canopy assessment. Imagery (either from satellites or plane flyovers) is run through a computer analysis to classify each pixel into certain categories. The categories can include tree canopy, non-canopy vegetation (grass, shrubs), open ground, impervious surfaces (buildings, roads), and water (ponds, rivers).

Then other geospatial datasets are blended in to further improve the accuracy. For the purpose of urban forest management, the final product is often simplified down into three types: where trees are, where trees could be, and where trees shouldn’t be (like impervious surfaces or sports fields). For example, an urban tree canopy for Washington, DC found the city was 37% tree canopy, 24% possible planting area, and 39% impervious surfaces

But wait! There’s still a couple layers left on this data onion. Thanks to the census and other surveys there is a ton of socioeconomic information tied to every block and neighborhood in the country. By overlaying tree canopy data on top of demographic data, urban foresters can identify significant trends, such as the disproportionate concentration of canopy in whiter, wealthier neighborhoods (a widespread pattern at the center of the tree equity movement) or the correlation between sparse trees and higher rates of asthma, heart disease, and skin cancer.

Why Measuring Tree Canopy Is So Helpful

There are three chief reasons tree canopy data is invaluable for cities.

  • Trees grow, and trees go, and we need to know.

Urban tree canopies are in perpetual motion. Tree growth and regeneration add canopy, while the destructive forces of development, disease, pests, and storms take it away. It’s hard to gauge from the ground, but taking a top-down view allows urban forest managers to track the change of canopy in every nook of the city, including both public and private lands. In fact, for most cities, the majority of their urban forests are on private residential land, so having this comprehensive perspective is vital.

 

  • Invest in the right trees in the right place, for max impact

Maps are a powerful storytelling tool. All of the data points from an urban tree canopy assessment can be combined into a clear, visual story on a map. Urban forest managers use software to map out tree canopy, and then mix in other metrics, such as available planting space and prevalence of urban heat, to develop a priority planting plan

 

  • Data rules. Back it up for the boss and the budget.

Urban forestry departments need to make the most of a limited budget, so it’s crucial to invest their available resources for new trees in the best possible areas.
Frequently, trees and landscaping are treated as an afterthought instead of an essential piece of the urban fabric. “Leadership within community forestry programs will always struggle to get outside agencies to buy into the value of trees without having canopy assessment data,” said Rob Davis, City Forester of Grand Junction, Colorado. Tree canopy data helps urban forest departments build buy-in from government leadership so they can justify their budgets, increase investment in tree planting, and upgrade city policies. Having maps and data that document exactly how tree cover is changing and how it is distributed across a city moves conversations into a discussion of reality instead of hypotheticals.

What’s Your Community’s Canopy Cover?

Find yourself a high vantage point, a plane or hot air balloon, or hop on Google Maps and take a look at your town from above. Try to make a rough estimate of how much of the view is covered by greenery. It’s worth checking to see if your community has completed an urban tree canopy assessment with a quick web search.

There is no magic number all cities should be seeking for canopy coverage. Climate, development pressures, and available space has a huge impact on existing tree canopy. Cities in the Southwest are often in the 5-15% range, while East Coast cities tend towards 30-40%. What is consistent is urban forests and their canopy are a key piece of the puzzle for addressing many of the top challenges facing cities today.

 

Reimagining Our Cities
Urban Forests

RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project

The Urban Wood Project began as a quest to reclaim wood from abandoned city homes. It very quickly became about so much more.

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Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Rethinking Our Carbon Future
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Innovation

Climate Resilience: An urban case study

ft. the Boise City of Trees Challenge - an ongoing story of community, collaboration, and forest climate solutions

Facing a changing climate and a rapidly urbanizing population, cities across the world are searching for solutions to turn the cities of the future into carbon repositories, not carbon problems. Frequently, trees are treated as an afterthought instead of an essential piece of the urban fabric. Not in Boise, Idaho.

The City of Boise is leading a new movement for community recovery and climate resiliency. While there is no single silver bullet for solving climate change, forests offer powerful carbon benefits and climate solutions. Long known as concrete jungles, it’s on us to fundamentally reimagine our cities, growing them into climate solutions, not part of the problem. The City of Trees Challenge, launched in partnership with the The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Idaho, the Arbor Day Foundation, USDA Forest Service and Treasure Valley Canopy Network in 2020, has an ambitious goal: to plant 100,000 trees, one for every household in Boise, over the next 10 years.

That's one tree for every household in the city; one seedling for every person in the city. Why? Hear from Lance Davisson, Director of the Treasure Valley Canopy Network in this case study on urban climate resilience.

In Boise, climate action isn’t just an environmental issue. It’s a public health and economic development necessity. Climate change is continuing to shift the Treasure Valley's seasons, rainfall, snowpack, air quality and water availability. These changes impact the health, quality of life, and yes, the livelihoods of everyone in the city. By harnessing the power of trees as a climate solution, and the passion of the city’s residents, Boise is positioned to grow its urban forests, and showcase the true treasure of Treasure Valley: its trees.

“We’ve got to act now if we’re really going to impact climate change. And trees are such an important part of that,” says Elaine Clegg, Boise City Council President, in this inspiring film by #forestproud friends + partners at the collaborative US Nature4Climate.

Urban forests put trees to work for our cities, connecting people with outdoor spaces, sheltering wildlife, lowering urban temperatures, and driving climate resilience by storing carbon and filtering our air and water. One tree is needed to offset emissions for every 2 gallons of gas.

Urban forests are a scalable solution to today’s most pressing urban challenges. It’s essential that our urban trees grow alongside our cities. Collectively, our urban forests are climate solutions. It’s up to us to plant, steward, and build a climate resilience urban forest.

 


New to the urban forestry conversation? Wondering why urban trees are so critical to helping us reimagine our cities and rethink our carbon future?

Check our blog posts ft. urban forests:

Want to hear more from Lance?

Check out his podcast episode "To Tree, or Not To Tree - Important Projects to Protect Our Canopy & Climate and learn more about the critical role that urban trees play, now + tomorrow.

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Reimagining Our Cities
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products, Urban Forests

FORESTS: Reimagining Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in a city.

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Climate Tech
Reimagining Our Cities
Rethinking Our Carbon Future
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Mass Timber

A climate solution hidden in plain sight

The story of the Hidden Creek Community Center

They say good things come to those who wait. And for Hillsboro, Oregon nothing could be closer to the truth. After years of planning and several intense months of construction, the town opened its doors to a brand new community center this month.

At more than 51,000 square feet, with exposed wood beams that extend some ninety feet long, the Hidden Creek Community Center is among the first buildings of its kind, using mass timber technology -  massive engineered wood beams and structural panels - in place of traditional, nonrenewable, construction materials like concrete and steel.

You only have to look at its sleek design to know that the building offers state-of-the-art facilities and public space, but what really makes this building special - and arguably, what really makes every mass timber building special - is that in addition to working for the community by providing critical infrastructure, this building is also working for the planet as a powerful climate solution.

When we first heard this we had a million questions. So many in fact, that we actually called up Swinerton Mass Timber - the company who built the community center - and talked to William Silva, Director of Pre-Construction, and asked him to lay it all out for us.


When the City of Hillsboro called you, were they looking for a climate solution?

We were working on the First Tech Federal Credit Union Corporate Offices which was the first project to bring mass timber to the Portland suburbs. And when we finished it in 2018, it was the largest mass timber project in the United States.

During the construction, Hillsboro’s City Manager and staff visited the site and saw what mass timber could do, particularly when the right project team was assembled.  The City Manager directed his staff to explore mass timber as a potential option for the Hidden Creek Community Center.

Serving the community has always been a primary function of the City of Hillsboro and the use of mass timber for their new community center fit perfectly with that mission as it provides a connection to nature, a beautiful space for users, and a building that stores carbon rather than emits it.

So yes, I think that they were looking for the best option for their community.

Why did Hillsboro choose mass timber over concrete or steel?

There were many options on the table. A steel structure would have certainly met the physical requirement for the space, but mass timber provides so many additional benefits, that the community really saw value in.

From the design team to the engineers, the whole project team was really committed to creating a space that connected the community and upheld the goals of working towards a more sustainable future. One of the goals of the City of Hillsboro is: “...to envision a sustainable future, in which the City responsibly satisfies the needs of its residents, provides a healthy and satisfying work environment for its employees, and minimizes its impact on the physical environment of the community.”

So in that sense, choosing mass timber as the primary structural solution, was perfectly in line with their mission and sustainability plan.

What makes mass timber the perfect choice for a community center?

As you stand in the gymnasium looking at the 90 foot long glulam beams, it’s hard not to stare out the windows at the Douglas Fir trees on the other side of the glass and instantly make that connection to nature. Given the natural forests surrounding the area, mass timber was the perfect option to connect the community center with the landscape of the community.

Using mass timber is also a nod to the state’s rich timber history.  Oregon has been home to sustainable forestry for years and so this building pays homage to those roots, though with a slightly modern twist. A lot of the material was locally sourced for the glulam beams and columns, and so this project connects with the community in more ways than one. We hope it will stand as a testament to the future of the timber industry in Oregon.

How do the benefits or advantages of mass timber translate into solutions for societal challenges?

There are so many additional advantages to mass timber construction over other materials. In terms of timing, our team was able to deliver the building 4 months faster than traditional steel construction, including overcoming permit delays so that the Community Center could open for fall programs.

I’d also say that with everything going on in the world right now, health and wellbeing have increased prominence in society today.  The exposed mass timber structure provides a natural atmosphere for residents to enjoy as they utilize the space and studies have shown that working, living, and even recreating in spaces which connect you to the natural environment help reduce stress and lower blood pressure.

As a building material, mass timber has massive potential to spur a green building initiative that encourages sustainability and cost advantages. The use of mass timber in the Hidden Creek Community Center is just one example of the larger trend to utilize natural products - like mass timber - for a range of benefits.

It seems more and more companies, organizations, towns are setting sustainability goals. Where does mass timber fit in helping achieve these goals?

There are many advantages to mass timber helping to achieve the sustainability goals of companies and communities. The ability to use products grown, harvested, processed, and built in a region promotes a sustainable ecosystem which can have a net positive benefit for the carbon cycle. The future of buildings will include more sustainable solutions, and mass timber is a really, really powerful tool that can help us do that.

Let’s talk about carbon and sustainability. How can buildings be climate solutions?

The ability for a building to act as a climate solution is incredibly valuable.

Mass timber locks in and stores carbon in a way traditional building materials don’t. Owners and architects are increasingly focused on the carbon and sustainability story associated with the buildings we build.  Every time we build a mass timber building our clients lead with the sustainability facts for the building - how much carbon it stores, how many cars off the road, etc. It is exciting to know that the building doesn’t just work, and isn’t just beautiful, it has a real positive environmental impact and people are excited about that.


original article written for Smart Cities Dive

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Reimagining Our Cities
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products, Urban Forests

FORESTS: Reimagining Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in a city.

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Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Urban Forestry: The Need for Green Among The Gray

Communities need to balance economic, environmental, and climate goals.

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and software development firm, and develops educational content at the intersection of trees and technology. PlanIT Geo’s TreePlotter™ software suite is used worldwide by private tree care companies, governments, and nonprofits for tree inventories and asset management.


The positive impact urban trees and forests have on our cities and communities are not only becoming better understood, they’re becoming an essential part of our strategy to achieve meaningful climate goals.

In our previous post, we talked about the origins of Urban Forestry and why urban forests are so important to the health of our cities, communities, and climate. Now we’re going to go one step further and explore what actually goes into managing urban trees and forests and how communities are balancing economic, environmental, and climate goals.

How Communities Manage Urban Forests

The urban environment is a harsh place to thrive as a tree. Like us, the more stressed trees are, the more likely they are to get sick. Trees in urban spaces have a lot of stressors. They have to overcome limited root space, poor soil, heat, and pollution, flood and drought, and lost cat signs nailed to them at 2am.

Yet, there is perhaps an even greater threat to urban forests: development.

Space is always a hot commodity in cities. New housing projects or highway expansions are rarely possible without uprooting some trees, if not whole swaths of forest. (We call this the WUI  (woo-wee) or the “Wildland Urban Interface '' where wild lands meet urban.) Land conversion via development is one of the leading causes of deforestation - the permanent clearing of forested land for a new purpose.

In spite of these challenges, urban forests must be maintained, protected, and expanded if they are going to offer vital benefits to communities.

Pulling that off requires careful planning and a skilled workforce. Urban forestry is a multidisciplinary field with professionals in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The U.S. urban forestry industry employs over 500,000 people, including municipal and commercial arborists, municipal and utility foresters, environmental policymakers, city planners, consultants, educators, researchers, and community organizers.

Fundamentally, the work of urban forest managers is to monitor the urban forest and then evolve their plans and take action based on that feedback. There are two main methods of monitoring the urban forest, one from the bottom up, the other from the top down:

  • A tree inventory is completed on the ground by arborists who assess individual trees on a set of criteria and plot their location.
  • An urban tree canopy (UTC) assessment measures a community’s tree canopy cover through the analysis of aerial and/or satellite imagery and other geospatial data.

Communities use this information to guide their actions through long-range plans, such as an urban forest management plan (see an example plan). These plans create a framework for asking what kind of urban forest a community wants to see and envisioning the actions, goals, policies, and metrics to get there. It’s also an opportunity to collect input from many diverse stakeholders (city staff, elected officials, and the community) to develop a shared vision for the future.

With a plan in hand, it’s time for action. Urban forest management is part proactive and part reactive. Urban forest managers can plan out tree plantings, removals, and schedule maintenance, but they will also have to contend with unexpected events, such as storms and pest outbreaks, that require emergency action. These are usually initiated by requests from the public, and an urban forestry program may receive hundreds to thousands of requests every year!

 

A Green Commitment Worth Keeping

It takes committed professionals, frequently updated data, and evolving plans to support a healthy urban forest. It can be a daunting task, but there are tremendous rewards when done successfully. Unfortunately, a nationwide analysis found 36 million urban trees are removed annually, equating to a loss of $96 million in ecosystem services.

We should not have to pick between living in an urban area or having access to green space. Climate change, and the increasing stress it puts on cities, is only raising the need for healthy, equitably distributed urban forests. Integrating trees, along with other green infrastructure, into our communities is a solution that supports both people and the planet.

How to get involved with your local urban forest

If you would like to support your local urban forest, there are often ample local volunteer opportunities. Try a quick Google search to see if your community has a tree board, forestry-focused nonprofit, or a tree planting event near you and join their next volunteer event. Take a selfie with your tree and tree friends + tag it #forestproud.

Reimagining Our Cities
Urban Forests

RECLAIMED | The Urban Wood Project

The Urban Wood Project began as a quest to reclaim wood from abandoned city homes. It very quickly became about so much more.

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Forest 101
Natural Climate Solutions
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Forest Management, Forest Products, Urban Forests

Urban Forestry: An Origin Story

Managing an urban forest is complicated! Why? Read on.

Author: Alec Sabatini

Alec is the content writer at PlanIT Geo™, a global urban forestry consulting and software development firm, and develops educational content at the intersection of trees and technology. PlanIT Geo’s TreePlotter™ software suite is used worldwide by private tree care companies, governments, and nonprofits for tree inventories and asset management.


To answer the question “what is forestry?'' we need to go back - way back - to the 1800’s when forestry first emerged on the scene as a profession. The goal then - much like it is today - is to manage for the current and future health of forests, and strive to ensure that forest benefits will be available for future generations.

Urban forestry on the other hand would take another 150 years before it was recognized as a distinct practice within the larger forestry family. Believe it or not, there are a lot of differences in managing rural trees and wilderness forests vs those in bustling downtown parks or along crowded streets.

The growing cities and urban sprawl of the 1960’s and 70’s proved to be the tipping point and marks the birth of urban forestry. Its focus was on setting new objectives, identifying new personnel, and implementing new management strategies to steward forests in the built environment.

What Is An Urban Forest?

Every tree in this photo is part of the urban forest!

 

The urban forest encompasses any tree, on public and private land, that lives where we do, from a small town to a crowded metropolis. It includes the trees that line our streets, shade our parks, and fill our backyards. It also includes dense, more natural stands of trees near our communities, such as nature preserves, river corridors, wetlands, and greenways.

One-third of U.S. land is forested and 18% of that land, about 141 million acres, is considered urban forest. 80% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas so the actions of urban forest managers have a profound effect on where people live, work, and play. If you want to have a direct impact on the well-being of your community, working in urban forestry is one way to do it.

Why Are Urban Forests So Important?

Like storm drains, street lights, and sidewalks, the urban forest is an essential part of our city – and our climate - infrastructure. Trees create a host of meaningful, measurable benefits. Collectively known as “ecosystem services”, trees and urban forests are critical to making our cities livable and sustainable.

A full list of urban forest ecosystem services runs quite long, but here are some of the essential benefits:

  • Carbon Sequestration & Storage

A healthy tree canopy pulls carbon dioxide from the air (sequestration) and stores it in roots, trunks, leaves, and soil (storage). Just like products made from rural forests, products made from urban forests continue to store that carbon for the life of the product. Urban forests are just starting to catch up to their traditional forest counterparts in efforts to track and reward this function through carbon credit and offset programs.

  • Cooling Our Cities

Trees are on the front lines of the battle against extreme urban heat, which as of 2022 is the number one cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S. Trees can drastically lower surface and air and surface temperatures through shade and evapotranspiration (the exchange of water with air).

  • Better Air Quality

Trees are sometimes known as the lungs of a city, but they can act as the liver too. Urban forests can remove tons (not metaphorically, literally thousands of pounds) of air pollution every year by absorbing gasses through leaves and trapping particulates out of the air.

  • Water Quality and Stormwater Control

Trees improve water quality and support stormwater management through rainfall interception and infiltration (water absorbed by the soil). Stormwater infrastructure is not cheap. Cities, especially those with combined sewer systems, are turning to trees and urban forests as an effective, affordable answer to handle heavy rains as seen through the installation of rain gardens and bioswales.

  • Improved Mental and Physical Health

Trees support physical health via improved air, water, and urban temperatures, but they also offer well-evidenced mental health support. Having easy access to trees or even views of trees helps reduce stress and enhance our well-being. The COVID pandemic made this connection especially clear.

 

Which sidewalk would you prefer to walk down?

 

Simply put, our cities, communities, and climate are better with trees around. Thanks to decades of research, we’ve become quite skilled at quantifying the benefits created by a single tree or an entire urban forest.

You can try it right now and get a benefit estimate for a tree in front of your home using the free MyTree tool. Urban forest managers often use software to estimate and track this information because it's invaluable for helping government leaders and community members accurately value the services provided by their urban trees.

 

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Reimagining Our Cities
Biomass + Renewable Energy, Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products, Urban Forests

FORESTS: Reimagining Our Cities

For the first time in history, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in a city.

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Cities, Forest Products, Innovation, Mass Timber

Cities have a climate problem

Thankfully, they have an ace up their sleeve: Forests.

 

Today, more than 50 percent of the world lives in a city. By 2050, that number is expected to climb to 70 percent.

As our cities continue to grow, so do the challenges they face: increased pollution and waste; increased demands on aging infrastructure; a growing need for affordable housing; a widening socio-economic gap; and a changing climate that sees the costs for clean air, water, and more continue to rise.

Cities have long been labs for innovation. So, while these challenges continue to stack and increase in complexity, they also represent one of the most compelling opportunities in a generation to reimagine the way society lives, works, and plays --moving our cities from climate problems, to climate solutions.

And thankfully, cities have an ace up their sleeve: forests.

Forests Have Solutions.

Built and run on solar energy, forests are home to the most technologically-advanced material and processes we have. They provide building materials, innovative compounds and components, essential products, renewable energy, and air and water filtration all in one convenient package.

As such, forests represent the most effective, scalable, and sustainable ‘technology’ we can employ as we rise to meet the challenges of a rapidly urbanizing population. Working in partnership with other renewables, bioenergy is helping us reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Wood skyscrapers made from mass timber are reducing the use of carbon intensive materials in our buildings. And wood and fiber based packaging is increasingly replacing the use of plastics and other non-renewable materials in the products we rely on every day.

Forests hold solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing society today. For our cities, that means cleaner air and water, less waste, fewer emissions, and a new skyline built from natural materials.

 

Michael Green: Architect of the Future.

Recognizing the opportunity [read: impending need] for these solutions in our cities, Michael Green is pushing the limits of sustainable architecture using mass timber to create beautiful, affordable, resilient, climate-positive buildings optimized for storing carbon. This is a climate game-changer for cities.

As one of the earliest and most prominent champions of mass timber architecture and forest solutions, Michael Green is working with some of the world’s most iconic brands, tech companies, and construction disruptors to bring these solutions to cities around the globe.

One building at a time, he’s working to reimagine our cities for the future.

Forests: Reimagining Our Cities.

The challenges presented by rapidly urbanizing populations are just a fraction of the increasingly complex challenges we face as a society. And mass timber is just one of those solutions. Like climate change, there is no silver-bullet -- however, there are few tools more powerful or better positioned to be implemented at scale than those solutions found in our forests.

If we embrace a bioeconomy that prioritizes natural, renewable, and sustainable alternatives for everything from the essential products we use day to day to how we power our lives, we have the potential to not only reimagine our cities, but rethink our climate future and build a lasting connection between society and the importance of taking care of our greatest natural resource: our forests.

Reimagining Our Cities
Mass Timber

Forest Champion Spotlight | Susan Jones

Susan Jones designed some of the first Mass Timber buildings in the U.S. - including her own home. Today, Susan and her team continue to pave the way for Mass Timber buildings in North America by showing the world that there is no reason a building can't also be a climate change solution.

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Mass Timber

Forest Champion Spotlight | Michael Green

Building the skylines of the future

As our cities continue to grow, so do the challenges they face: increased pollution and waste; increased demands on aging infrastructure; a growing need for affordable housing; a widening socio-economic gap; and a changing climate that sees the costs for clean air, water, and more continue to rise.

Cities have long been labs for innovation. So, while these challenges continue to stack and increase in complexity, they also represent one of the most compelling opportunities in a generation to reimagine the way society lives, works, and plays --moving our cities from climate problems, to climate solutions.

Meet Michael Green: Architect of the Future.

Recognizing the opportunity [read: impending need] for these solutions in our cities, Michael Green is pushing the limits of sustainable architecture using mass timber to create beautiful, affordable, resilient, climate-positive buildings optimized for storing carbon. This is a climate game-changer for cities.

As one of the earliest and most prominent champions of mass timber architecture and forest solutions, Michael Green is working with some of the world’s most iconic brands, tech companies, and construction disruptors to bring these solutions to cities around the globe.

One building at a time, he’s working to reimagine our cities for the future.

And thankfully, cities have an ace up their sleeve: forests.

ted-talk-featured-image-tower
Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products

TedTalks | A Wooden Skyscraper?

“Wood is the material that I love most, and I’m going to tell you a story about wood.” Learn why architect Michael Green thinks we should build wooden skyscrapers in this Ted Talks video.

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Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products

Forest Champion Spotlight | Kyle Freres, Freres Wood

Mass Timber + Lumber: Building on a family history of stewardship, building the cities of the future.

For more than 90 years, the Freres family has been a steward of Oregon’s forests. With responsibility for more than 17,000 acres in the Pacific Northwest, the family-owned Freres Wood (formerly Freres Lumber Co.) has long been a pioneer in sustainable forest management and manufacturing.

Today, Kyle and his family continue that tradition, blending technology and sustainability to create the building materials of the future: Mass Timber. The same sustainable and renewable wood engineered to replace steel and concrete on a scale not previously possible. #forestproud.

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Reimagining Our Cities
Carbon + Climate Change, Careers, Cities, Forest Management, Innovation, Mass Timber, People, Products

TedTalks | A Wooden Skyscraper?

“Wood is the material that I love most, and I’m going to tell you a story about wood.” Learn why architect Michael Green thinks we should build wooden skyscrapers in this Ted Talks video.

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Reimagining Our Cities
Careers, Community, Forest Management

Forest Champion Spotlight | The Emmerson Family

Sierra Pacific Industries

Heroic strength. Unflappable bravery. A commitment to doing what’s right. Wearing a cape. This is what it takes to be a guardian.

Right?

The Emmerson family got started 70 years ago as a small sawmill operation in California. Today, their company Sierra Pacific Industries owns and manages over 2 million acres of forest across the West, employs 5,2000 people, and has donated over a million dollars a year for the last decade to community non-profit organizations and education scholarships.

Cape or no cape, the Emmerson family is showing the world that sustainable forest management means more than just planting trees. It’s about thinking beyond tomorrow and planning for the future. Not just the future of the land, but the future of these communities, and the future of the men and women who are the heartbeat of Sierra Pacific.

Swap spandex and super powers for guardianship spanning generations and you have true modern day guardians in the Emmerson Family and Sierra Pacific.

Reconnecting People and Forests
Careers, Products

The Crew

On its surface, forest products manufacturing looks very different than it did 100 years ago. But, behind the machines and the new technology is a group of skilled, dedicated, and hardworking individuals who make it all possible.

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