Urban Forestry

To meet the growing demand for urban forest managers and urban forest planners, the Faculty of Forestry (with support from the School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture) has launched a new bachelor degree in Urban Forestry (BUF).

What is Urban Forestry?

Urban forestry is about planning and managing urban green-spaces and ecosystems for human welfare, ecological health, and protection of our cities’ support systems. Urban forest networks, parks, wetlands, and other green infrastructure are vital in moderating heat waves and cooling demands, maintaining biodiversity and carbon sinks, controlling forest fires, and storm-water flood mitigation.
Urban Forests improve and protect our health, property values, local jobs and businesses, outdoor recreation opportunities, and community character. Forests and green systems compete for space among buildings, roads/transit, storage facilities, and energy infrastructure. Urban foresters of the future will need to stand shoulder to shoulder with other urban planning, infrastructure development, and management professionals to develop attractive, sustainable and effective shelters for our cities, suburbs and small towns.

To date, professionals in Canada have had to rely on their own ingenuity to train as “urban foresters”. We at Tree Canada are very proud that the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Forestry has sought to remedy this situation. Besides fulfilling one of the Action Items of the Canadian Urban Forest Strategy, this program will help ensure that the greenspaces of Canada’s growing urban areas are better protected, managed and expanded.
– Michael Rosen, RPF
President, Tree Canada

Why is Urban Forestry important?

There is a growing demand for urban green-space professionals due to the rapid pace of urbanization; the need to adapt to multiple impacts of climate change; and increasing demand from the public for the recreational, psychological and health benefits that green-space networks provide.
With increased urban populations, global warming, urban heat islands, flooding and pollution, cities may become unlivable or demand massive energy-use for cooling, unless we can establish large scale, healthy urban forest systems.
Cities all over the world will need urban forestry professionals who can deal with these complex, multi-disciplinary challenges, and provide livable, sustainable and greener communities.
If you love the urban environment and are interested in sustainability, green space planning, and nature in the city, then the Bachelor of Urban Forestry may be for you.

What will you learn in the Urban Forestry program?

Urban Ecology and Management
Green Space Planning and Design
Recreation and Well Being
Climate Change and Sustainability

The Urban Forestry program is for students interested in areas such as urban ecology, sustainability planning, recreation, human well-being, forest sciences and management. The program will feature both local field courses in the Vancouver area, and international case studies based on UBC research and our professional networks in China, India, South America, Europe, across North America, and elsewhere. Learn more

Important Updates

– New “diploma to degree” agreement between UBC and Fleming College – Graduates of Fleming College’s Urban Forestry Technician (UFT) Co-op program now have the option of completing a Bachelor of Urban Forestry degree at University of British Columbia (UBC). Learn more on the Fleming College website.

Program MapHow to Apply