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Municipal woodland in Denmark: resources, governance and management

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Abstract:

Urban woodlands are the subject of complex decision-making that requires a strategic overview of the resource. This article contributes a national study of municipal woodland in Denmark. Data were collected among all Danish municipalities through a postal survey (with a response rate of 52%). As much as 83% of the woodland units were located within urban settlements or at their fringe, emphasising that municipalities are important urban woodland providers. Municipal woodland resources were typically divided into many separate units of varying size. On average, the responding municipalities owned 12.6 woodland units with an allocated area of 265 ha, resulting in a mean size of 21.5 ha. A general lack of management plans, and a significant drop in recreational facilities provided with decreasing woodland size indicate that the recreational use potential of small woodland units was largely overlooked. Municipal woodland units frequently bordered other woodland or nature areas of different ownership. Thus even small municipal woodlands can play a key role in the development of multifunctional green infrastructures in the urban landscape. Only municipalities with extensive woodland property had issued a woodland policy, and/or certified woodland management. This indicates a need for development of governance and strategic management instruments attractive to municipalities with limited woodland property.

Keywords: City forest; forest governance; forest recreation; municipality; recreational facilities; urban forestry; woodland ownership

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02827581.2012.693193

Affiliations: 1: Department of Landscape Management, Design and Construction, Faculty of Landscape Planning, Horticulture and Agricultural Science,Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden 2: Faculty of Life Sciences, Danish Centre for Forest, Landscape and Planning,University of Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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