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If you’re looking for tools to help develop an urban forests management plan or tools to help justify an urban forests management plan, there are a variety of helpful resources and toolkits available.

    • Community Viz screenshot: Credit: Community Viz

      CommunityViz modeling scenario screenshot: Credit: CommunityViz

      CommunityViz is a geographic information system (GIS)-based modeling software that allows users to envision changes to their current landscape (such as new trees, shrubs, etc.) and understand the ecosystem service impacts associated with those alternatives. Users can create potential scenarios and are able to analyze impacts in a realistic 3-D setting.

    • The Urban Forest Management Plan Toolkit is an online resource for users looking to develop a management plan for their urban forest. The website takes you through the steps of figuring out what elements should go into a management plan, like goals and objectives, what monitoring needs to be done and when, and what steps will help reach the desired goals.
    • The American Public Works Association Urban Forest Management Plan provides detailed information and resources on public tree management. The plan outlines the main components of tree management, such as inventories, mapping software, tree advisory councils and cost-benefit analyses.
Open Tree Map shows ecosystem benefits for Philadelphia. Credit: Philly Tree Map

Open Tree Map shows ecosystem benefits for Philadelphia. Credit: Philly Tree Map

  • The Urban Forestry Modeling and Prioritization Toolkit, by Azavea, is a suite of tools that allows users to model and map trees in urban areas. The suite accounts for factors such as heat island effect, air quality and stormwater. By digitally planting trees in the model, users can calculate the environmental impacts of the trees based on the planting location and management plan.
  • Urban Forest Cloud, from Plan-It Geo, provides web-based modules and tools connecting urban tree canopy (UTC) data with goal setting, implementation and volunteers in a planning context.
  • Open Tree Map is an open source tree inventory platform available online and as an upcoming smartphone application that enables users to add trees to a map and create an interactive and collaborative tree inventory and dynamic map of a city’s trees. Cities like Philadelphia, San Francisco, Grand Rapids, Asheville and San Diego are already using Open Tree Map.

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 Section III: Urban Forest Assessment Tools