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Is 'Urban Forest' an Oxymoron?

Written by Matthew Daniel

When we talk about the “Urban Forest”, are we kind of kidding ourselves?

A forest is a complex biodiverse extended living organism described by being:

  • regenerative,
  • sustainable,
  • random,
  • unregulated,
  • resilient,
  • community engaged (plants, microbes, invertebrates, birds, animals),
  • Productive (as a natural system.)

These words can be used to describe a Forest.


But a forest does not contain infrastructure as people know it. Mortgages,

property boundaries, fear of damage from trees and legal responsibility or

ownership over the human built asset and urban landscape prevail. These

are just some of the ways to describe Urban.

Could this mean –“Urban Forest” is an oxymoron?

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