Urban Forestry, Urban Greening

Course content

The "re-naturing" of cities has come to the fore-front of urban planning the world over. From Singapore to Copenhagen, city leaders have implemented large-scale tree planting campaigns and the greening of post-industrial sites with urban parks and community gardens. But why are green spaces so important for today's cities and towns? How do we develop sustainable and multifunctional green structures that meet the expectations of local citizens, politicians and other diverse interests? How can green spaces and trees provide nature-based solutions for a climate-resilient future? These are some of the questions delt with in this course. Working with a Nordic and international perspective, students are challenged to conceptualize and apply key concepts, theories, and methods involved in the strategic management and planning of urban parks, woodlands, street trees, community gardens and other green areas. This is a must-have course for students with a professional interest in the greening and re-naturing of cities.

Thus this course challenges students to shift perspectives from the spatial to the political. In this regard Urban Forestry Urban Greening is a problem- and knowledge-based course drawing on relevant urban green space governance cases from the Danish and international context . The course explores international literature and Danish cases as an introduction to the planning, management, and governance of public urban green spaces. The course provides an in-depth perspective on the following topics:

- The concept of Urban Forestry & Urban Greening (UFUG) approach, definitions etc. touching on its relation to urban green infrastructure and the ecologicalization of the urban fabric.
- History, background, developments and current status of UFUG resources in Europe and abroad
- Strategic management of the urban green resource
- Benefits, values and uses of urban green areas (ecological, economic, social, cultural, human health etc.)
- UFUG policies, planning legislation and regulations in urban areas
- Development of tools for strategic management (tree inventories, tree appraisal, marketing strategies, biodiversity indicators etc.)
- Different actors, stakeholders and professions involved
- Organisation in relation to maintenance operations (public - private / private - private partnerships)
- Various methods of public engagement and co-creation


MSc Programme in Landscape Architecture

Learning outcome

The main objective of the course is to provide a theoretical introduction to the governance (planning, maintenance, management and steering of decision making processes ) of public urban green spaces from a strategic point of view, and to provide training in developing an urban green space management plan. These course objectives are supported through case-based group work resulting in a written management report at the end of the block. In this course we work with "real-world" cases often engaging directly with a municipality, community groups and parks organizations thus we aim to move from theory to praxis within the course.

The course is integrated in the Master program in Landscape Architecture, as an introduction to the Green Space Management specialisation.

After completing the course the student should be able to:


- Describe and challenge relevant theories related to the combination of public administration, landscape urbanism, green space management, and governance.
-Describe and challenge, using relevant models, the actors and aspects involved in urban green space management and governance, and specifically explain and challenge the role of a public manager within a basic democratic system.
- Reflect upon the different user groups, their wishes and needs, and possible conflicts between different user groups.
-Describe and challenge the different organizational levels in a typical green space management organization, including the roles of the different parts of the organization.
-Summarize and complicate the various benefits of urban green spaces.
-Mention a number of tools that can be used to aid long term (strategic) management of urban green spaces.
-List the most important methods of public participation and reflect upon their suitability in different situations.
- Describe in detail how a strategic Green Space Management Plan may be structured, and developed over time.


- Read and analyze peer-reviewed scientific publications
- Make oral presentations of preformed analyses, developed visions and planned actions
- Structure reports and presentations in a correct manner
- Select and asses relevant information for the course project
- Discuss central tools, their scope and values in relation to green space management.
- Discuss the most important urban green space benefits in detail.
- Develop a Green Space Management Plan, including both short and long term visions and related means to fulfill the plan.


-Work independently
-Cooperate effectively in a multidisciplinary and multicultural group with a common project
-Apply the course theory to related subjects and/or to different work situations, e.g. in other countries

The course will be taught as a combination of lectures, group work, seminars and field tests. Lectures will be given as a basis for theoretical input. Group work will be based on exercises where students develop further understanding. Seminars will be based on students own preparation and dissemination of knowledge. Field tests will be excursions where students are expected to test theory in practise. As both the future work field and the expected students represent a wide range of interests and educational backgrounds, teaching methods in this course will be interactive and active participation of the students in discussions and multidisciplinary group work is expected. Thus, students will be able to work interdisciplinary as well as relate their own academic background to related disciplines.

See Absalon for a list of course literature.

A relevant Bachelor completed, with a proven 'green space' component, for example landscape architecture, landscape management, forestry, natural resource management, nature conservation, geography, environmental science.

Academic qualifications equivalent to a BSc degree is recommended.

Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Feedback will be given in two-way formats. Students will frequently be asked to assess the course lecture content and relevance as well as their personal learning experience. This will be done orally. I will give oral feedback during group-work presentations. All students will comment on their peers progress in group presentations as part of peer-feedback. Individual feedback will be given upon request. Each student will receive feedback at their exam when the grade is given.

Type of assessment
Oral examination, 20 minutes
Oral exam, with use of all materials allowed. Question to be drawn prior to exam, followed by 20 minutes of preparation time.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
External censorship
Criteria for exam assessment

Please see learning outcome.

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 40
  • Theory exercises
  • 40
  • Preparation
  • 131
  • Exam
  • 5
  • Excursions
  • 20
  • Guidance
  • 16
  • Project work
  • 160
  • English
  • 412